Plan for Your Future with the Help of Estate Planning Attorneys in Lisle, IL
While it is a subject most people wish to avoid thinking about, we all must face the fact that we will die someday. What happens to your property and assets when you die? What can you do now to make the inevitable easier for your family? It may be a topic that is difficult to talk about, but it is crucial that you take care of these matters sooner rather than later. With the help of estate planning lawyers in Lisle, IL, you can have peace of mind about what will happen when you are gone. From making sure property beneficiaries are in order to naming guardians for your children, estate planning attorneys are here to help get your final wishes in order.
Do I Need Estate Planning?
Sadly, many people die without an estate plan in place, which leaves relatives fighting over property and assets, or worse, these items become the property of the state. The biggest reason this happens is that people assume that estate planning is only for the wealthy and elite. Estate planning is for everyone, and everyone should make plans for what will happen after their death. If you have a mortgage or paid-off property in your name, you need an estate plan. If you have underage children, you need estate planning. If you have grown children and want to ensure they do not end up fighting over your house when you pass away, you need estate planning. What if you do not have any property or assets? What if you do not have children you wish to pass things on to when you die? You still need estate planning since it can cover all sorts of additional matters, such as power of attorney, who will make your medical decisions if you are incapable of doing so for yourself, and final wishes regarding burial and other end-of-life decisions. The best way to determine how much estate planning you need based on your individual situation is to speak with an attorney. Experienced estate planning attorneys will be able to help you plan for the future in whatever way works best for you.
What Areas Fall Under Estate Planning?
Estate planning is about more than a rich person deciding who inherits their mansion in the end. It can cover a host of areas and topics to help ensure your final wishes are honored from a legal standpoint. Here are a few of the most common areas estate planning attorneys deal with:
- Property and asset division. This is the most common area people think of when it comes to estate planning needs. Property and assets can include residential and commercial properties, vehicles, family heirlooms, possessions, and more. It also includes finances in bank accounts, retirement funds, trusts, inheritances, and more.
- Child and pet guardianship. Estate planning may allow you to create a legally recognized document wherein you name the selected guardian for your underage children. This is useful if both parents happen to die at the same time and ensures the children end up with someone you trust without a lengthy court battle to avoid foster care. The named guardian will still need to prove certain markers to the courts (ability to care for the child, financial stability, etc.) before being granted full legal custody. Estate planning can also be used to name guardians for pets so your beloved dog or cat doesn’t end up in a shelter if you die suddenly.
- Burial wishes. Most people have wishes about their final resting place, and this is a personal matter that should always be honored. Whether you prefer burial or cremation, estate planning lets you put the specifics of your wishes in a legally binding document to ensure loved ones know what to do when the time comes.
- Power of attorney. This is always a good thing to have in writing somewhere since it allows for a designated person to be in charge of your finances if you are ever unable to make financial decisions. It can be useful in all sorts of scenarios and should be outlined clearly in a legal document.
- Advance medical directive. While you can specify that your power of attorney has the right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, there may be instances when you want to name one person to have financial power of attorney and another to have medical power of attorney. If you decide you do not wish to name a legal power in either capacity, you can still use estate planning to make your advance medical directives, or end-of-life wishes clear and legally recognized.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do for Clients?
An estate planning attorney assists clients in a few important ways. For starters, they work with you to ensure you fully understand your options on matters such as wills, trusts, power of attorney statements, and other pertinent legal documents. These can be confusing matters to figure out on your own. They are also matters of monumental personal importance, so you want to make sure you get everything in order the way you want it for your loved ones and your own final wishes. An attorney will make the process easier and more streamlined while also answering any questions you may have along the way. Aside from helping clients understand the options available to them, estate planning attorneys ensure the legality of estate planning documents by making sure all necessary legal requirements are met during the process. An estate planning attorney will also assist clients in making modifications to their will, trust, or other legal plans related to what happens when they are gone. Finally, an estate planning attorney may be able to assist clients with disputes or discrepancies related to the estate plans of a recently deceased loved one. If you are unsure of how an estate planning lawyer may be able to help you, the best solution is to reach out and speak to an attorney about your situation.
What is the Difference Between a Will and Trust?
There is often confusion about the difference between a will and a trust. While they are both tools a person can use to plan for the future, they are used under different circumstances. Both a will and a trust may be used to name beneficiaries regarding your property and assets, but they operate in different ways. For instance, a will is to be used once the benefactor is deceased, and the property or assets are immediately granted to the beneficiary per the terms of the will. With a trust, there is more flexibility than a will. For example, a trust may be set up to pay beneficiaries while the benefactor is still alive. A trust may also carry certain stipulations in a way that is less common in a will, such as only granting assets to a beneficiary when they reach a certain age or only granting assets in a set amount over a period of time rather than all at once. While both a will and a trust may be used to determine the future disbursement of your belongings and assets, one might be better suited to your wishes, which is why it is essential to speak with your estate planning attorney to find the right solution.
Is It Worth the Cost of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney?
There are plenty of do-it-yourself products out there that claim making a will is as easy as entering some basic information and clicking a few buttons online. The truth is that estate planning is a complex process that should be done with care and consideration under the guidance of legal counsel. If your estate planning is not done properly, it may not hold up later when you are gone. The benefits and peace of mind in choosing to hire an estate planning lawyer far outweigh the financial cost of their legal services. An experienced estate planning attorney will have important knowledge clients need to make the best decisions for their future and loved ones.
Make a Plan Today
It is important to plan for the inevitable to ensure your final wishes are honored. With the help of knowledgeable debt restructuring lawyers, preparing for the future doesn’t have to be a hassle or a headache. Whether you need a legal will, a trust, or a power of attorney document, we are here to help you. Even if you are unsure if you need a will in the first place, we can help determine what works for you. Contact us at (708) 575-1500 to get started on planning your estate today.