Estate Planning

Preparing Your Estate Today So it Will be There for Your Family When You’re Gone

If you think living in Illinois is expensive, just try dying!

Estate planning is an important process that allows you to take steps now to help protect your legacy so it can be passed down to your loved ones when the time comes. With proper estate planning, you can minimize the amount of taxes that will need to be paid, avoid probate court, and ensure your heirs are getting exactly what you want them to have, in the manor you want them to receive it. Above all else, estate planning is a gift given to your loved ones to ensure they are taken care of after you are gone, and to help minimize the impact of your loss—a loss which can quite literally occur at any time. The sooner you take steps to plan your estate, the sooner you will have the peace of mind that your legacy and your loved ones will be safeguarded no matter what surprises life throws your way.  

When to Start Estate Planning

Many people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is only for the elderly. In reality, people of almost any age can benefit from some type of estate planning. Young people should start out with a will, which can be updated as they age and their circumstances change. Additional estate planning tools can be added in as they are needed. Of course, as people age, estate planning becomes more important than ever.

Lake Cook Legal Solutions has experience helping people in virtually all walks of life with their estate plan—and trust us, nearly everyone needs and should create a comprehensive estate plan. Our estate planning services cover a broad range of needs, including the following:

  • Probate or Probate Court – Probate is a legal process in which a deceased person’s will and estate are reviewed and settled. Proper estate planning can minimize, or even eliminate, the need to go through probate.
  • Wills – A will is one of the most basic forms of estate planning. It is a legal document that describes how you would like your assets to be distributed or used after you die. A will will not keep your estate out of probate, however, so keep that in mind when determining what estate planning vehicles you need.
  • Trusts – A trust is an estate planning vehicle you can create in order to hold property either during your lifetime and/or after you have passed. The main purpose for a Trust is to manage your estate and avoid Probate. Trusts can also serve a wide variety of purposes such as distribution of your assets to beneficiaries in a manner of your choosing, and can provide major tax benefits.
  • Power of Attorney for Property – Power of attorney for property is a right you give to someone you trust to make decisions concerning your property or other assets if you are unable. This can include making payments, and even selling the property, should it become necessary.
      • Power of Attorney for Health Care – Power of attorney for health care is a legal right you grant to someone that allows them to make medical related decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to make them on your own. If you become incapacitated due to an accident, for example, they can accept or deny specific treatments for you.
      • Living Will – A living will allows you to lay out your preferences with regard to medical treatment. It will state what type of care you do or do not wish to receive if you are unable to make your wishes known at the time treatment is needed. In Illinois, this can be combined into one document with your Power of Attorney for health care.

Begin Your Estate Planning Today

The first step in beginning (or modifying) your estate plan is to contact us. We will set up an appointment where you can come in to begin this essential process. Depending on the size and complexity of your assets, this can take anywhere from just a single meeting to continual meetings over the course of your life. Whatever you need, we are prepared to help.