Estate Planning Lawyer Glenview, IL
If you or a loved one are in need of counsel regarding estate planning, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer in Glenview, IL clients trust to plan for their future.
What is estate planning? Estate planning entails the preparation and dispersion of an individual’s estate, assets, and inheritance upon their death. When an individual creates an estate plan, they get to decide who their assets are passed to, how the estate is divided, and how their wishes for end-of-life care, burial, and funeral plans. Understanding how assets are distributed can be confusing for clients, as there are many aspects of their estate. However, experienced estate planning lawyers such as those from Bott & Associates, Ltd can help their clients through this difficult process, and any other confusing parts of their estate plan.
Table Of Contents
- Understanding The Key Factors Of Estate Planning
- Estate Planning 101: 5 Steps To Get Started
- Estate Planning 101: 5 Steps To Get Started Infographic
- Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
Why is an estate plan important? Without an estate plan, the state may decide what happens to a person’s estate and all their assets. Needless to say, this could have serious implications for the deceased’s loved ones as they may have to fight for what they thought was rightfully theirs. There are certain state laws and tax implications that need to be considered when creating an estate plan. By working with an estate planning lawyer, they can ensure that their clients meet all these requirements, saving their loved ones from potential frustration, and monetary loss.
What does an estate planning lawyer do? An estate planning lawyer helps their clients understand what an estate plan is, assists in the documenting of all the estate owns and helps counsel their clients in regards to proper distribution. Experienced in estate law, these attorneys understand what makes an estate plan legal, and helpful to all parties involved. Estate planning lawyers are helpful guides as their clients navigate planning for their future, financially, emotionally, and physically. An important part of an estate plan is the medical directives and the wishes and desires of the client for end-of-life care.
When should you start planning your estate? Estates should be planned as soon as possible. If a client fails to create or finish their estate plan, their family and loved ones may suffer the consequences. For example, if a client has young children and has not created an estate plan which includes a plan for young children, or minors then the state may have the final say as to where those children are placed.
How is an estate plan different than a living will? An estate plan includes a living will, as well as other important documents. These other important documents include medical directives, retirement and tax information, bank accounts, and a plan for young children. A living will is important on its own, but an estate plan encompasses so much more than a client and their loved ones will need. Gathering these documents may seem like a challenging task, but estate planning attorneys have the skill sets needed to create a proper and robust estate plan for their clients. If you have not started or completed your estate plan, contact a Glenview estate planning lawyer today!
Understanding The Key Factors Of Estate Planning
Working with a Glenview, IL estate planning lawyer is imperative for those who still need an estate plan. There are a significant number of people who forgo the process. However, it’s important to note that this is typically not intentional. Many people may not develop an estate plan because they put it off for another time. Unfortunately, failing to establish a will or a more comprehensive estate plan can be problematic should someone pass away without having one in place. It’s important to note that an estate plan is more extensive than a will and can help by encompassing several documents and clearly outlining a person’s wishes. As Bott & Associates, Ltd can attest, there are several reasons developing an estate plan is essential and without one, there can be several repercussions.
Key Elements to Include Within an Estate Plan
Estate plans are a set of documents that outline a person’s wishes. These documents are essential because they encompass plans while a person is still living and after passing away. In addition to detailing a person’s wishes while they have passed away, an estate plan will also provide a detailed account of their wishes while they are still living but cannot make decisions on their own. While it may be evident that a person requires an estate plan after they pass away, it’s important to note that when a person is still living, they may need someone to make decisions for them should they become incapacitated are in a situation where they are unable to make decisions. Elements that a Glenview estate planning lawyer may recommend that their clients include within an estate plan can consist of:
- The Letter of Intent
- A Will
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Guardianship Designations
While a will can provide instructions for how assets will be divided when a person passes away, an estate plan can act as a comprehensive tool when planning for the future.
Reasons to Develop an Estate Plan
As mentioned, estate plans are essential plans for the future. It’s only natural for a person to worry over what will happen to their dependents and their assets in a world when they are no longer in it. Developing an estate plan not only offers peace of mind, but there are also many other reasons to move forward with the process:
- Ensure beneficiaries are clearly identified
- Develop plans for the end of life
- Identify how assets will be distributed
- Put trusts in place that protect assets from creditors and allow the grantor to put clear terms in place
- Determine guardianship for minors
- Protect assets from probate
- Minimize taxes
Estate planning can be complex, emotional, and overwhelming, which is a primary reason why many people may choose to put off the planning process. While it can be hard to take the next step towards planning, there are risks involved with not developing an estate plan. When a person passes away without a will or an estate plan, risks can include the following:
- Asset division will be left to the probate courts
- Assets may not be distributed according to the testator’s wishes
- There will be no plan for minor children
- Family may be left to make healthcare decisions should the testator become incapacitated
- The estate could become heavily litigated by family who are in disagreement over how assets should be distributed
To learn more about the advantages of having a Glenview estate planning lawyer like the professionals from Bott & Associates, LTD, consider scheduling a consultation.
Estate Planning 101: 5 Steps to Get Started
Creating an estate plan with a Glenview, IL estate planning lawyer is essential for ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. Estate planning can be complex and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right guidance, creating an estate plan is manageable and straightforward, which is why we put together 5 steps outlining what goes into a plan. By following these steps, you can ensure that your estate is in good hands and that your wishes will be carried out when the time comes. If you are in need of an estate plan, contact an attorney today at Bott & Associates, Ltd. for help.
Step 1: Determine What Assets You Own
This includes any real estate, investments, bank accounts, and other property. It’s important to take inventory of your possessions, so you know exactly what to include in your estate plan. Make sure that all documents related to your assets are organized and up-to-date, as this will make the estate planning process smoother. You should also consider any debts you owe. It’s essential to note any debts that may need to be paid off after you pass away. This will help ensure that your loved ones don’t have to deal with any surprise bills after you’re gone.
Step 2: Decide Who Will Receive Your Assets
When deciding who will receive your assets, you can choose one or more individuals or organizations. You may wish to create a trust to ensure that your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes. You can also designate a primary beneficiary, such as a spouse or child, and secondary beneficiaries, such as other family members or charities.
Step 3: Choose an Executor
Your executor is responsible for administering your estate, so it’s important to select someone who is trustworthy and organized. The ideal executor should also be familiar with financial matters and laws pertaining to estates. When selecting an executor, you may want to consider family members or close friends. You should talk to potential executors ahead of time and discuss the responsibilities involved. It’s also important to have a back-up executor in case your first choice cannot serve or is no longer living.
Step 4: Draft Your Will or Trust
Your will is an official document that specifies how you want your property, debts, and other assets to be distributed upon your death. It can also designate a guardian for your minor children, as well as name an executor to manage your estate’s affairs. A will is only effective after death and should be updated regularly. A trust is another important estate planning tool that can be used to manage assets during life or after death. Trusts can help with tax planning, asset protection, and allow you to specify how your assets are distributed to beneficiaries. Before drafting either a will or trust, it’s important to discuss your estate plan with an experienced Glenview estate planning lawyer that can help ensure that your wishes are accurately documented and executed in accordance with the law
Step 5: Review and Update Your Plan Regularly
Your estate plan is an important document that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to review and update your plan regularly as changes in your life or in the law may require changes to your estate plan.
When you’re reviewing your estate plan, consider the following:
- Do any of the beneficiaries or executors need to be changed?
- Has there been a change in your financial situation?
- Are there any new taxes or laws that may affect your estate plan?
- Have you acquired or disposed of any assets since you last updated your estate plan?
If you would like to get started with a plan, contact a Glenview estate planning lawyer at Bott & Associates, Ltd. for help.
If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance regarding estate planning, contact a Glenview, IL Estate Planning Lawyer clients can trust.
Estate Planning 101: 5 Steps To Get Started Infographic
Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
How can an estate planning lawyer help their clients?
Estate planning lawyers help their clients in a number of different ways. Whether their client needs to make changes to their existing estate plan or start a plan for the first time, an experienced attorney can help. Estate planning lawyers help distinguish their client’s assets, formulate a plan for disbursement, consider tax and state implications, and set up medical directives. There is a lot that goes into a thorough and robust estate plan. Many clients don’t know where to begin when thinking about their estate, and what they want for their future. This is where an estate planning lawyer can assist, answering any and all questions their clients may have, and providing clarity and support every step of the process.
Can clients make estate plans on their own through an internet template?
Yes, individuals can try to plan their own estate by themselves or using an online template, however, there may be serious complications and consequences involved. For example, those who choose to plan their own estate without the help of an attorney may not consider tax and state considerations. In this case, their estate plan could be contested, and their assets not divided in the way they desire. Estate planning is too important to not be thorough and careful. Although individuals may save some money doing it on their own without an estate planning lawyer, they may cost themselves and their loved ones thousands in court fees trying to contest their estate plan, and will.
What does an estate plan entail?
An estate plan consists of many important documents such as a will, medical directives, bank information, retirement accounts, a plan for children, and a power of attorney. Without an estate plan, loved ones may not inherit what is rightfully theirs. This may cause anger, confusion, and unnecessary time and money. Estate planning ensures that the client’s future is taken care of, and his assets divided in the way he or she wishes. Medical directives are extremely important as they detail what the clients want in terms of medical care during the end of their life. Some desire extreme measures to be taken to save their lives, while others may not.
What time is a good time to start estate planning?
Clients should not wait to plan their estate until later in life. Something unexpected may happen, causing the client to be unable to complete their estate will. That is why attorneys strongly advise their clients to start and complete their estate plans as soon as possible for peace of mind. It may take a bit to gather all the necessary, and important documents needed for the estate plan. Starting now ensures that clients are in their right, sound minds to make all the decisions needed for their estate plan. Contact an estate planning lawyer today, and start planning for your future.