Estate Planning Lawyer Mount Prospect, IL

Estate Planning Lawyer Mount Prospect, IL

An estate planning lawyer Mount Prospect, IL families turn to Bott & Associates, LTD. understands that the topic of planning for after death can trigger emotions. Estate planning is something that few people look forward to doing. Thinking of the future and the major decisions that must be made regarding your future care, how your family will be taken care of and how your assets will be managed is a lot to think about. Having legal support to assist you throughout the process is recommended. It is a task that is best approached with support from a legal professional who understands estate planning. Despite what many people may think, you do not need millions of dollars in the bank in order to need an estate plan. In fact, even those with more modest funds and assets can benefit from planning for the future.

You can have many advantages if you choose to hire an experienced estate planning lawyer instead of taking on the task on your own. Think of it this way, an estate planning lawyer in IL from Bott & Associates, LTD. will help you organize what you own and write down wishes for how you want your legacy to be given to loved ones after you have passed on. They can help you get the clarity you need to make sound decisions that can help you develop an estate planning that is comprehensive and addresses all of your specific needs and concerns. You do not want to go into making an estate plan blind and without direction. Forgetting to leave certain details in an estate plan could be consequential. Without a proper estate plan, your assets could get caught up in probate court, causing more stress and frustration for beneficiaries.

Qualities to Search for in Your Lawyer

It is important that you hire a lawyer who is experienced in overseeing estate plan documents. They should be familiar with state laws, the probate process, and other aspects of estate planning. If you attempt to establish an estate plan without legal guidance, it increases your odds that yours will be disputed later on. The last thing you want is to write an estate plan that is too broad that it leaves room for misunderstandings and confusion among beneficiaries. An estate plan should be specific and clear so the state can understand exactly how you want your plan to be executed. If there is any ambiguity it could be left up to interpretation or could even result in conflicts between your loved ones. Because estate planning involves so many components and legal complexities, obtaining the legal help of a lawyer can make the process much easier to understand. A Mount Prospect estate planning lawyer from IL can help guide you if it is your first time writing an estate plan, or help you make changes if life events have caused your current draft to be inaccurate.

Other qualities to look for in your estate planning lawyer include:

  • A professional who is up-to-date with the laws for your state and how to create valid estate planning documents. An estate planning lawyer should be familiar with the different requirements that vary from state to state. 
  • Devotes their legal practice to estate planning and other types of family-related law. Their time should be spent on refining their knowledge of estate planning and the related laws. 
  • Makes you feel comfortable and not judged when sharing information about your finances, wishes, and other intimate details of your life. They should be focused on creating a plan that is accurate and serves your best interests.

Creating a List of Assets and Beneficiaries

When consulting with an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect at Bott & Associates, LTD., one of the first tasks we may have you do is create a list of your assets and beneficiaries. Assets include both tangible and intangible things such as property, insurance policies, retirement plans, stocks, bonds, jewelry, art collections, and sentimental items. Once you have identified a detailed list of your assets and important personal possessions, then you can decide how you want to pass them down. Then, write a list of people that you care about the most who you would be honored to have a portion of your legacy after you have passed on. Clearly identifying specific people to pass your items to is important because it prevents disputes over your assets and who the intended and rightful beneficiaries are. These could be people such as your immediate family, close friends, and charity organizations you believe in. People often forget to leave out certain items or beneficiaries, such as family heirlooms, so make sure to double check that your list is not missing any important assets or other items of value. 

Contact Bott & Associates, LTD. Now

Many people wonder why it is so crucial to start estate planning early. Why can’t you just wait until a later time? Estate planning should be done as early as possible because it requires a great deal of preparation, and it is something that should be done while you are healthy and can effectively communicate your wishes. If a significant life event happens that results in your incapacitation and you do not have an estate plan, your preferred wishes may not be fulfilled. Do not wait another day without having a legally-binding estate plan. We can help you from start to finish, and there is no risk in calling today as we offer free brief initial consultations. Call Bott & Associates, LTD. to speak with an estate planning lawyer in Illinois now.

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating an estate plan can be very complex, so you do not want to go at it on your own. It is important to have a qualified estate planning lawyer Mount Prospect, IL residents trust on your side. Here are some of the benefits of hiring an estate planning lawyer.

  • Estate Planning Is More Than Just a Will: Many people falsely believe that an estate plan just consists of a will. While a will is an important aspect of an estate plan, it is not the only legal document you should include in your plan. An estate planning lawyer can assess your individual situation and advise you on the documents that best fit your needs. For example, if you have minor children, your lawyer may suggest including a guardian designation in your estate planning documents.
  • It Is Easy to Make Errors: Estate planning documents contain legal jargon that the average person may not understand. If you make even one error on these documents, it can make them invalid. That’s why it is important to have a skilled estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL on your side. He or she can help you draft these documents without any errors.
  • Your Estate Plan Will Need to Be Updated: It is likely that your estate plan will need to be updated at least once or twice in your lifetime. For example, if you have a child or get divorced, you will need to make changes to your plan. An estate planning lawyer will help you do this properly.
  • You Will Have Peace of Mind: When you are prepared for the future, you can rest easier at night. An estate planning lawyer will work hard to create a plan that reflects your wishes and answer any questions you may have. If you have any concerns about your plan, you could just give your lawyer a rin.
  • Your Documents Will Comply With Current Law: Estate laws change from time to time. If you do not have a background in this field, you might know when these laws change. An experienced estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL, on the other hand, has extensive knowledge about these laws and will make sure your plan complies with them.
  • You Will Save Time: Drafting an estate plan can take a lot of time, especially if you don’t have any legal experience. If you work a full-time job and have a family to take care of, you might not have all of this extra time. That’s another reason why working with an estate planning lawyer is so important. He or she will take care of all paperwork, so you can have more time to tend to your responsibilities.

Myths About Estate Planning

You might be thinking about planning your estate; however, may also have many questions about doing so. For example, you might feel unsure about what you need, when is a good time to begin, and whether you even need an estate plan. Questions like these can be answered by an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL. At Bott & Associates, LTD., we often hear from people who are interested in having an estate plan, but have some reservations in getting started. What we tend to find is that a lot of what they think about estate planning is largely untrue. There are many myths surrounding estate planning, and we’ve attempted to dispel some of the most common ones. 

Estate Plans Are Only for Wealthy People

This is the number one myth about estate planning. As a Mount Prospect, IL estate planning lawyer  from Bott & Associates, LTD., might tell you, everyone can benefit from some kind of plan. Even people who have little to know assets should consider having a power of attorney or medical directive. Without any kind of estate plan, the court can step in and make decisions on issues, including:

  • What will happen to you in the event you are incapacitated?
  • Who will take care of you if you are mentally incapacitated?
  • What will happen to your minor or disabled adult children?
  • Who will receive any of your assets after your death?
  • Will you be buried or cremated?
  • Would you like to donate your body or organs after you die?

If you fail to plan out your estate, a judge can make decisions on most of the matters above, and according to the laws of Illinois. For many people, this is not a comforting thought which is why planning your estate becomes so important. 

The State Will Get All Your Assets

In very few situations can the state actually inherit your assets. If you die without any estate plan, your assets are passed onto your living spouse if you are married. If you are not married, they will be passed onto your children; afterwhich, your living parents, siblings, or extended family. Only when there are no living family members, could the state inherit your assets. 

An Estate Plan Can Be Done Just Once

It is common to think that once an estate plan has been drafted, it cannot be updated or changed. This is untrue. You can modify your estate plan as often as you want. Because this can be costly, we would recommend that you only do so when necessary, and ensure that you have given thought to everything included in the plan. 

Estate plans can help to secure your future, as well as, your loved ones. You should not ignore planning out your estate, and you should understand that there is no situation that suggests you don’t need one. You cannot be too old or young to begin planning your estate. 

If you are ready to take the first steps to successful estate planning and peace of mind, call an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL from Bott & Associates, LTD.

What Do I Need to Include in My Estate Plan?

As an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL might explain to you, an estate plan can include a number of different tools, or documents. If you have any assets, having an estate plan is a very good idea. However, many people delay in starting the process. Because life can be unpredictable, we, at Bott & Associates would advise against putting your estate plan off. By having one in place, you can feel peace of mind in knowing your future, and that of your loved ones, is protected. 

Tools or Documents That Can Be Included in an Estate Plan

An estate plan may include:

  • A Will
  • A Trust
  • A Durable Power of Attorney
  • A Health Care Proxy
  • Guardianship for Your Children or Disabled Adult Children

There are many other special documents that an estate plan can include. For example a Special Needs Trust or Gun Trust. Only when circumstances apply will you require these documents. A Mount Prospect, IL estate planning lawyer can help you to determine what is best suited to your needs. 

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is an estate planning document that names a person, often referred to as an Agent, who will be responsible for making financial decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. As soon as it is drafted and signed, it will become active and remain active until your death (unless it is revoked). 

Health Care Proxy

This is a special document that names a person who is responsible for making medical decisions should you be unable to do so because you are ill or incapacitated. For example, if you fall into a coma, or develop dementia, a healthcare proxy may be required. Without this document in place, you risk having your loved ones go to court to get a decision on how you can be cared for. Health care proxies are very important, and ideally, two people will be named just in case the first person cannot serve the position. 

It should be noted that a health care proxy is not a living will, which could include your desires for medical treatment should you be unable to share your wishes. It is important that your named proxies know what, if any, your medical desires, may be. 

A Will

A will is a legal document that explains how your assets are to be distributed upon your death. You must name an executor or personal representative who will be responsible for carrying out the duties associated with the will. This person must act in the best interest of the estate and will have an obligation to pay any outstanding debts prior to the assets being distributed. 

A Trust

There are different kinds of trusts, each with their own advantages. What may be right for one person, might not be suited to another. A trust holds assets on behalf of the named heirs. One of the primary reasons to have a trust is that it avoids probate; however there are many reasons to consider this type of estate planning tool. 

About Our Practice

Drafting your own will increase the likelihood of making costly mistakes. Although the do-it-yourself, at-home alternatives may be enticing, the American Bar Association recommends hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer, or a legal professional that specializes in wills and estate planning. A qualified estate planning lawyer will be able to explain to you their interpretation of the intricacies of laws regarding property, taxes, wills, trusts, and probates. Secondly, at-home will writing kits cannot provide the personalized legal advice, the experience, and experiential knowledge base that will help those writing a will, or estate plan to feel confident about the terms and conditions in the documents.

Trusted Estate Planning Assistance

The guidance of a qualified professional will make the process easier to understand, helping to ensure that assets passing outside of your estate are handled properly, nuances of state law are considered, and other relevant tax and legal factors are resolved. Our Mount Prospect, IL estate planning lawyer from Bott & Associates, LTD promises to make sure your legacy continues, and your property, assets, and other affairs are handled with care, taking into account nuances of local state, and federal laws as they pertain to your estate. We work to deliver peace of mind.

Proven Excellence in Estate Planning

At Bott & Associates, LTD, our team strives to provide personalized assistance with all of your estate planning related affairs. Our estate planning lawyer has been practicing law for over 20 years, and is one of only a handful of members of the American Academy of Estate Planning lawyers, in the Chicagoland area. The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys is a national exclusive organization dedicated to promoting excellence in estate planning.

A Personalized Approach to Estate Planning

We will assist with writing a will, or planning an estate, and will be able to explain Illinois law as it pertains to your estate, and provide advice based on our years of experience serving clients with estate planning and probate needs. Prior to creating your estate plan, contact us to schedule a free half-hour consultation. We will evaluate your situation and offer helpful suggestions about next steps and the most viable course of action based on your specific needs. At Bott & Associates we aim to treat every single client as part of our family. 

Prepare for the Future

Our estate planning services are not limited to writing your will. Our team can also help with creation of other estate-related legal documents as well, documents such as living trusts, or coming up with a plan for asset protection plans for your beneficiaries. Our team can also help with health care directives, to be implemented in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on your own.

If you are like most people, you have spent most of your lifetime achieving your goals. The advice and direction of our estate planning lawyer will be essential to implementing an estate plan that handles your assets according to your wishes and meets all other estate related objectives. To learn more about how our Mount Prospect, IL estate planning lawyer can assist you, Illinois based residents often choose to contact Bott & Associates LTD, who are experienced in helping clients with their estate planning needs. 

Estate Planning Lawyer Mount Prospect, IL

Estate planning is an essential tool for mapping out the future, and an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL, can play a crucial role in making sure that these plans are clearly outlined for when they must come into play. Protecting your assets and your family should be one of your top priorities. When a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves or passes away, their families will not only be grieving; they will also be left to pick up the pieces and settle the estate. There will also be other essential decisions that must be made, such as how assets will be distributed, who will act as the estate executor, and who will take care of any minor children. Having an estate plan is a way of making these decisions so that your family is not left to guess what you would have wanted and ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way you would have liked. Unfortunately, the estate planning process can become overwhelming and complicated without the guidance of a firm like Bott & Associates, LTD. The following are several mistakes that testators can make during the estate planning process: 

Putting Off the Process

It’s incredibly common for people to put off estate planning. Many people will leave it for another day, or they may not truly believe they need an estate plan. Here’s the reality, most people should have an estate plan. Our Mount Prospect, Illinois estate planning lawyer shares that estate planning ensures that your wishes are carried out. In addition to allocating how assets will be distributed, they can also plan for the unexpected. For example, should a person become incapacitated and unable to make decisions, someone will need to make medical decisions for them. Without a healthcare directive, medical practitioners and loved ones will be left guessing what your wishes would have been. This can result in discord amongst family members, and it can also result in measures being taken that you would not have wanted. 

Failing to Name Alternate Guardians, Beneficiaries & Estate Executors

One critical component to developing an estate plan is to make decisions over people who will inherit assets, take care of your children, and the person ultimately responsible for administering the estate. Making these designations is critical, but one consideration some people fail to make is identifying backup people to take on this responsibility. There are several reasons this is important: should the original named person pass away or no longer want the responsibility to care of children or manage the estate, no one will be assigned to fill these critical roles.

Not Taking Taxes into Consideration

After working so hard to accumulate assets throughout your lifetime, considering taxes is vital. The estate could be subject to inheritance and estate tax when a person passes away. Taxes vary depending upon the size of the estate, but it’s essential to know that when proper tax planning is not considered, inheritances can dwindle significantly. However, with appropriate estate planning strategies, it’s possible to reduce the amount of taxes the estate will owe.   

Forgetting to Communicate Your Wishes to Loved Ones

Once an estate plan has been developed, you may think the hard work has been done. Putting these critical plans in place is imperative, but it’s essential to take the additional next step of communicating your goals with family. After a loved one passes away, the family will be grieving, and everyone will have their own opinions over what you wanted. As a result, the family may disagree, which could cause problems in resolving the estate. 

Have you been putting off the process of estate planning? Don’t wait another moment to put these critical tools in place. Bott & Associates, LTD will support clients in making the best possible decisions during the estate planning process. Please schedule an appointment with our estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL, before it’s too late. 

If you are considering getting started on making an estate plan, start with consulting with a highly rated lawyer for help. Get the guidance you need so that you have a strong understanding of the estate planning requirements and laws so you do not leave any important details out. Postponing your estate plan may lead to more complications in the future. If you are interested in knowing more about estate planning, call an estate planning lawyer in Mount Prospect, IL today.