When it comes to estate planning, Illinois residents have a lot to consider. Estate planning is an important part of ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. Understanding the basics of Illinois estate planning can help you make sure that your wishes are carried out.
What are the Steps to Create an Estate Plan?
An Estate plan is typically made up of several documents that work together to ensure your wishes are carried out. These documents include a will, a trust, a power of attorney, and a health care directive. A will is a document that outlines how your assets should be distributed after you pass away. A trust, on the other hand, is an entity, created during your lifetime, to manage your assets during and after your life for the benefit of a trustee and your beneficiaries. The power of attorney grants someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Lastly, a health care directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, outlines your wishes for medical treatment if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself.
3.Gather Necessary Information
In order to create an estate plan, you will need to gather information about your assets and liabilities. This includes bank accounts, investments, real estate, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and any other assets you might own. Additionally, you’ll need to create a list of all your debts.
Next, you’ll want to decide who will receive your assets upon your death. The individuals you designate as beneficiaries will depend on how your estate plan is structured. Without specifically choosing your beneficiaries, the Illinois Probate Act will provide a default designation of who gets to share in your estate.
5.Choose an Executor
An executor is the person responsible for carrying out the terms of the will and managing the estate once the will is probated. It’s important to choose someone who is reliable and trustworthy to serve as your executor.
6.Choose Someone to Handle Your Power of Attorney
If you become incapacitated or disabled, you’ll want someone to handle your financial affairs for you. This person is known as an agent or attorney-in-fact and is granted the authority to make decisions for you through a power of attorney. While choosing an agent is important, it’s also important to let them know about the document so they are prepared to take action if necessary.
7.Create a Health Care Directive
A health care directive outlines your wishes for medical treatment if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself. It’s important to think carefully when creating a health care directive as this document will determine what kind of treatment you receive if something happens to you.
8. Go Over Your Plan With Your Attorney
There are many online products out there that promise easy and cheap estate planning. These products are often one-size-fits-all, or may charge additional rates to ask questions to a qualified professional. When creating an estate plan, it’s important to consult an estate planning attorney familiar with the particulars of Illinois estate planning requirements. An estate planning attorney can help you create an estate plan that meets your needs, makes sure all documents are prepared correctly, and hopefully avoid any issues that may arise when the time comes to use them.
Contact me to discuss your estate planning needs today. firstname.lastname@example.org. 815-529-2178