Estate Planning Law Firm Schaumburg IL
Estate Plans – Why You Should Have One
An estate plan might sound like something that only a wealthy person needs to have, certainly not every low-middle income family, right? Not exactly. As an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL might tell you, nearly everyone can benefit from an estate plan.
What is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is simply an extension of the steps you take for setting up a will. Having a will is essential. However, it doesn’t always go quite far enough. There are more components that you might need to complete to make sure that you or your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death or an accident. Here are a few of the things that an estate plan addresses. If you have any further questions, you can call an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL.
- Custody of your children if you cannot care for them before they are adults
- Your choices (if you wish), for the medical care you will receive if you are incapacitated and cannot make decisions regarding that care
- The selection of a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so
- The choice of a person to make financial decisions and pay your financial obligations from your accounts if you are unable to do so
- How to reduce the costs of estate taxes and probate (the fees associated with transferring your assets through a will)
Why Would You Want an Estate Plan?
If you become incapacitated, and there is no directive, the decisions about your medical care will be made without your input. You and your spouse won’t be able to choose who cares for your children or pets in the future. The courts will most likely be assigned the task of making decisions about your finances and paying your financial obligations. Finally, your assets will go into probate. That process is where a judge must rule your will is valid. It is a costly, slow process that can make your family wait over a year and lose up to 5% of the assets in your estate. If no will exists, a judge will decide who inherits what based on the laws of intestacy in Illinois.
Steps to Take
The best step to take for creating an estate plan is to speak to an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL. Creating an estate plan isn’t much different than creating a will. However, a revocable trust may fit the various pieces of an estate plan better. Revocable trusts have the same features of a will in terms of naming beneficiaries and gifts, but they allow you to go further. In a trust, you can stipulate what money can be used for; for example, ordering specific funds for a child’s education, or a house being for an aunt’s retirement. You can also put in medical instructions (a medical directive or a living will), choose a trustee (person to make decisions), set up care instructions for someone with special needs, and more.
How You Can Protect Your Heirs
If you are in the middle of a divorce proceeding, thinking about getting a divorce, or are worried about any possible future litigation, you may have concerns about whether your estate plan protects your heirs against litigation. This is a valid concern and something that should be addressed with the help of an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL. When you leave your assets or an inheritance to your intended heirs, you have a natural expectation that they will receive them. However, it is possible for their inheritance to be contested. As an estate planning lawyer in Schaumburg, IL might tell you, divorces, judgements, creditor claims, business claims, and so forth could impact your estate and any inheritance that is meant to go to your heirs. This can occur through no fault of their own; however, any carelessness on their part could increase this risk. It is possible to reduce this risk through the right estate planning measures. Because no two estate plans are exactly alike, it is recommended that you consult a Schaumburg, IL estate planning law firm.
Protecting Your Heirs
Perhaps you have concerns about your grandchild using their inheritance to make a large purchase in joint names, only to lose the asset in a divorce. This is a very common concern and one that can be avoided through the drafting of an irrevocable trust, beneficiary controlled trust, or trust with a will. It will likely not be possible to do this without the help of an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL.
At Bott & Associates, Ltd., we offer a broad range of estate planning services including:
- Estate administration
- Special trust drafting
- Asset protection
- Divorce protection
- + More
Educating Your Heirs is Key
Although a legal estate planning document can assist in protecting the inheritances of your heirs, there are considerations to think about. As an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL, we tend to recommend our clients to talk with their heirs about any inheritance they are to receive. You might want to explain to them that their inheritance is theirs and should always remain as separate property. This can be followed up by talking to them about what separate property is and how to keep it as separate. A prenuptial agreement is one way to do this and should be strongly considered – especially if there are large inheritances at stake.
A Trusted Estate Planning Law Firm in Schaumburg, Illinois
We have decades of experience in estate planning matters, including trust administration, litigation, probate, and more. Our lawyers would be happy to listen to your situation and help you to understand your best legal options. If you would like to protect the future of your heirs and are ready to take the right steps, consider speaking with an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL, such as Bott & Associates, Ltd. Call us now for a complimentary consultation.
Planning a Durable Power of Attorney
Have you ever wondered what would happen to you if you became incapacitated? Who would take care of you, your medical treatment, and the associated bills? While you might not want to think about these things, it is important to consider planning a durable power of attorney.
What is a durable power of attorney?
A durable power of attorney is an affordable way to arrange for another person to manage your finances in the event you can no longer make these decisions on your own. As a Schaumburg, IL estate planning law firm, we help our clients to draft these documents in a professional, time saving way. A durable power of attorney can be very useful for you and your loved ones. Without having one, the court will likely need to intervene. Your loved ones may need to ask the court permission to handle some or all of the associated financial matters. Let us talk to you about this important document and how it can be included in your estate plan.
When Will A Durable Power of Attorney Take Effect
As soon as your estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights, IL has to offer drafts of the document, and you sign it, it will go into immediate effect. In the event you don’t want this, you can specify that it only goes into effect when a doctor certifies your physical and/or mental incapacitation. This is called a springing durable power of attorney. While there are benefits, it is possible for this document to cause various problems; of which our Schaumburg, IL estate planning law firm can discuss with you. Once your document has been drafted and signed, you will give another person the right to make financial decisions on your behalf. This person may be called the agent. It is up to you as to how much power you want your agent to have. For example, you can stipulate that he or she can:
- Purchase, sell, and maintain real estate, property, or a mortgage
- Pay property taxes
- Collect government benefits
- Invest money into stocks, mutual funds, etc.
- Handle any financial transactions
- File and pay taxes
- Operate and manage a business
- Hire a lawyer to represent your estate
- Buy or sell insurance policies
- Manage all financial accounts
- Claim an inheritance
It is important to choose an agent who can act in a responsible, honest way while keeping your interests in mind. Records of all transactions must be kept, and any assets belong to the agent should be separated completely.
The Cessation of a Durable Power of Attorney
Unless you state otherwise, your durable power of attorney will end at the time of your death. The agent will not have the authority to handle any further obligations after your passing. This is a separate issue that should be considered when planning your estate. If you are ready to learn more about a durable power of attorney, or estate planning, call our estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL today.
Professionals Podcasting Caught Up with Attorney, Maritess Bott, to Discuss the Differences Between Wills and Trusts:
If you are interested in finding out more about estate planning, contact an estate planning law firm in Schaumburg, IL.today.