Estate Planning Lawyer Palatine IL

The Impact of Dying without a Will in Place

Estate Planning Lawyer Palatine, IL

How can an estate planning lawyer in Palatine, IL help you plan for the future? Over your lifetime, you may have worked hard to create a future for your loved ones. As such, it is important that you ensure your legacy is passed on just the way you intended it to be. Although you might envision your estate to be transferred smoothly to your heirs, things don’t always go as planned. The truth is that estate planning is complex, even when the value of the estate is not too much.

It can be easy to put off drafting a will. Many see it as a cumbersome process that can be set aside for another day. The reality of this being that the longer a person procrastinates in creating a will, the higher the chance that they pass away without one in place. Although many do not realize it, dying without a will can have a serious impact on their loved ones. Take the time to sit down with Bott & Associates, Ltd. so that we can assist you in drafting out your final wishes. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to endure this process, after all, most do not want to think about dying. An estate planning lawyer can take some of the complexities and fears out of will creation by efficiently and effectively help you to complete your will.

By working with the estate planning lawyer Palatine, IL residents trust, you have the opportunity to explore all of your options while receiving foresight to any potential problems. A lawyer may also review tax issues, the probate process, and whether a trust might be a better solution to your needs. To learn more, call an estate planning lawyer from Botts & Associates, Ltd. now.

The Importance of a Will

Even thinking about a will can be difficult for some people as it is a reminder of their own fate. Others put off planning their estate because they are still young, or do not have accumulated wealth. However, anyone who has something of value, regardless of their age, should not put off estate planning. If you’re unsure about creating a will, and would like to find out if you should do so, call a Palatine, IL estate planning lawyer.

A common belief when it comes to will creation is that a lawyer is not necessary, especially when people feel they might be to download a basic template and sign it. This is not always a smart choice. Even if you are sure about creating your own will, you should ask an estate planning lawyer from Palatine to review it for discrepancies or other issues that might hinder the probate process.

A Living Will

A living will may also be referred to as an advance medical directive. This will is not the same as a last will and testament. Rather it is a legal document that informs medical professionals and loved ones about their wishes for medical care. A living will can be very useful in the event of the creator becoming incapacitated; thus, are unable to express their wishes.

Dying Intestate

Dying intestate is when a person passes away without a will in place. It’s important to note that the laws of how this process is managed can vary depending on the state where you live. Our attorneys can advise clients regarding Illinois intestate succession laws for those faced with a loved one who has died intestate.

If you have specific wishes about your assets, you should not let the laws of intestacy dictate how they will be distributed. By turning to an estate planning lawyer from Schaumburg, your estate can be transferred in the way you wish.

You Have More Than You Think

There are a variety of reasons people do not complete their will before they pass away. Some just never get around to it. After all, the prospect of death can be difficult for most people to consider. Perhaps one of the most common myths people have surrounding estate planning is that they must be wealthy or have a significant amount of assets to need one. This can’t be further from the truth. In the end, there is often a number of decisions to be made following the passing of a loved one. Put a plan to paper so that you don’t leave your loved ones guessing during what is already a difficult period for them.

Your Loved Ones

Passing away without a will can place a significant burden on those you love. It’s already difficult enough to suffer the loss of a loved one when coupled with worry over how assets and final affairs will be managed, it can be downright stressful. It may also cause additional problems to arise, such as delays with probate and tense familial relations.

Listen to Attorney Maritess Bott Discuss Concerns After Remarriage as Featured on Professionals Podcasting:


You Lose Complete Control

A will outlines more than just your assets. It also may provide your loved ones with a clear direction regarding how you would like your wealth distributed, funeral instructions, and guardianship over your children. Without a will in place, you leave it up to someone else to make these decisions. In most cases, a judge will appoint an executor and court will determine the best way to settle your estate. Why put this on someone else? A will allows you to communicate with your loved ones when it comes to your final wishes. An estate planning lawyer can help make the creation of your will as quick and painless as possible.

Estate Planning FAQ

A good estate plan compared to a poor plan, or not planning at all, can make a big difference in whether or not your wishes are followed and whether or not the people who you want to inherit your things actually get them.

A good estate plan can ultimately save time and money by making sure that your last will and testament and medical directives, are legally sound and go uncontested.  

A key to good estate planning is to maximize what you leave behind.

What is a will?

A will is often referred to as a last will and testament. This is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after your death. It can also appoint guardians for minor children. Many people include medical directives in the event they cannot make medical decisions for themselves and/or a person or entity to be their conservator in the event they cannot manage their finances.

What if you don’t have a will?

If you die without a will it is called, intestate. This typically results in the state in which you lived deciding how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. If you do not have a will or it was not properly executed before you die, assets typically go to spouses first. If you do not have a spouse, typically, your assets will go to your child or will be distributed equally amongst your children. If you do not have a spouse or a child, your assets will likely go to your next of kin.

What is a trust?

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement where an appointed third party trustee, holds assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Traditionally, trusts are used to minimize estate taxes and to offer other benefits to beneficiaries.

Trusts can be arranged in different ways and can specify when and how assets are passed on to beneficiaries.

What are the benefits of a trust compared to a will?

A trust may allow beneficiaries access to their assets more quickly than a will because trusts usually avoid probate. Avoiding probate can save time, court fees and may reduce estate taxes.

Irrevocable trusts may also lower the taxes your beneficiaries will have to pay upon your death because if assets are already in a trust, they may not be considered to be a part of your taxable estate. An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed or terminated without permission of a beneficiary. In most states, a trust is considered irrevocable unless the grantor arranges for it not to be.

Benefits of having a trust include that it gives you control of your wealth, it protects your legacy, and avoids your records being made public through probate.

There are many values and benefits to start your estate planning today. If you are thinking about doing this, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a reputable estate planning lawyer in Palatine, Illinois today.

Setting Up a Trust for Distribution of Assets to Children

Parents of young children are usually advised by their estate planning in lawyer Palatine, IL to write up their wills and set up a trust in order to ensure that their children are taken care of if the parents die when the children are still minors. Trusts are usually recommended because of the complications of leaving property directly to minors. There are many different kinds of trusts, and the parents can set restrictions on how assets in the trust are to be distributed or used for the children’s care.

One of the best aspects of a trust established under Illinois law is that any assets passed to an heir in a trust do not need to go through probate before being legally transferred to the heir. Probate is a legal process through which a person’s estate is managed, settled, and distributed after his death in accordance with Illinois law. Since the probate process can take years, a trust offers a significant advantage. Once a trust is set up, the trust, through a trustee, holds title to the trust property for the beneficiary of the trust. The person setting up the trust can also be the trustee.

Living trusts are popular for estate planning. They are set up while the grantor (the person setting up the trust) is still alive and can be designated as living revocable trusts or living irrevocable trusts. With a living irrevocable trust, the terms of the trust are set when the trust is set up and cannot be changed later on. However, with a living revocable trust, the grantor can make changes, or even get rid of the trust, at any point before his death. Your Palatine estate planning lawyer can explain which types of trusts are the best for your situation.

Parents can also set up testamentary trusts, which spring into existence after the parents’ death, through their will. In a testamentary trust, the parents can leave all their property to the trust, for the benefit of the children.  The trustee for the children’s trust can also be named in the will, and an alternate trustee provided as well. Choosing a trustee is an important aspect of establishing a trust and should not be taken lightly.

With all trusts, the parents can include specific instructions for how assets are to be distributed to their children, for example, requiring the trust assets to be distributed only when the child graduates from college. Parents should consider that sometimes a trust distribution that gives all children an equal amount regardless of age or need may not be in all the children’s best interests.

To learn more about trusts and other tools available for your estate planning needs, contact our firm to speak to a Palatine, IL estate planning lawyer.

What’s Part of an Estate?

Many people think that an estate means a large sum of wealth or an especially large property with land and houses. This is not the case though as every estate will vary in size from small amounts of cash to many properties and real estate. What’s usually considered to be a part of the estate are jewelry, stocks, bonds, real estate, properties, vehicles, family heirlooms, cash, cryptocurrency, and more. Your Palatine, IL estate planning lawyer can fill you in more on the different items that are included in an estate. There are also many different documents that may be included in an estate. These documents will dictate what happens to possessions when someone passes on. They also may designate someone to take care of finances and other important familial matters in the event that a person can no longer carry them out. Reach out to Bott & Associates, Ltd to begin your estate plan and secure your possessions and wealth.


Probate is the process of validating a will. This is a sensitive time for family members and close friends of the decedent. That is because the will may lay out who will receive which possessions upon the death of the decedent. Probate can be a lengthy process and is usually not something that is settled quickly. Another thing to consider is that if there are debts that the decedent owes to creditors, banks, or other individuals that these things will need to be taken care of. Debts typically do not get fully washed away when someone passes away. The banks still want their money back as do creditors if money was loaned out. Always keep this in mind for your fellow family members and loved ones if debts are carried and an estate plan is being drawn up. An estate planning lawyer in Palatine, IL from our firm can go over the probate process in more detail with you and ensure that all of the critical points are covered. Reach out to us today to learn more about estate planning and the other components that are involved.

Potential Probate Problems

Probate is a process that has unfortunately broken some families and loved ones apart. When someone is left out of a will or something that seems strange with the will it can lead to some especially high sensitive feelings. Will’s have been known to be challenged as some people close to the decedent don’t agree with it or question whether it’s valid. The validity may come into question if someone close to the decedent only at the end of their life is found to be receiving substantial amounts of benefits from the estate. Another reason someone may question a will is if it seems like it wasn’t written with a sound mind.  It’s important to understand estate planning and the ensuing potential probate problems that may come. Talk with Bott & Associates, Ltd today to learn more and to establish a firm and secure estate plan.

Contact Bott & Associates, Ltd. Today

Legally, you do not have to retain a will creation lawyer to write your own living will or last will and testament. However, a lawyer can be instrumental in drawing up a will that effectively honors all of your wishes. The estate planning lawyer Schaumburg, IL trusts from Botts & Associates, Ltd. will be there to answer any questions you might have, help to reduce administration costs, and assist with a smooth transfer of your assets .

An estate planning lawyer Palatine, IL clients recommend from Bott & Associates, Ltd. can work with you to develop an estate plan that truly outlines the way in which you would like your estate managed when you pass away. Developing a will is a lot less painful than many think. We will ensure that you have all that is needed to draft a will that is clear and concise. Contact a Palatine, IL estate planning lawyer now.