Lawyers For Wills, Trusts And Power Of Attorney In DuPage County
For any family, it is important to plan for the future. You want to make sure your children, family members or other loved ones will be provided for, no matter what happens. However, you will also want to make sure your wishes are followed regarding the care you receive throughout your life and how you want your affairs to be handled after you have passed. To address these issues, you need a comprehensive estate plan that will meet your family’s needs throughout your lifetime and beyond. The lawyers of SBK Law Group can answer your questions and help you understand your options as you make plans for the future. We have over 25 years of combined legal experience, and we can make sure your estate plan addresses your unique concerns and offers you the security you need. We help plan for the “what ifs” in life. We take a holistic approach to estate planning, which is also known as “legacy planning.”
Elements Of An Estate Plan
You can create multiple types of documents and agreements to address your ongoing needs, your plans for the future and your wishes for what should happen after your death. Your estate plan may include:
Wills – A will is a powerful tool that allows you to leave legally enforceable instructions about how your assets will be distributed after your death. It generally identifies beneficiaries – usually family, close friends or charities – that will assume ownership of your property when your life is over. Your will can also name your preference for a guardian of any minor children who survive you.
Trusts – Creating one or more trusts allows you to streamline the passing of assets without the involvement of a probate court. Popular types of trusts include living trusts, special needs trusts and generation-skipping trusts. With a living trust, you can retain control of your assets during your lifetime, followed by a smooth transition to the trustee and/or other designated recipients of your property once you die. A special needs trust can enhance the quality of life of a disabled family member without making them ineligible for government aid. A generation-skipping trust may directly help your grandchildren with higher education expenses.
Powers of attorney – In the event of your incapacitation, an agent named in a power of attorney can manage your finances. An advanced health care directive allows you to express your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care.
In addition to helping you understand how to use these tools to create a comprehensive estate plan, our attorneys can also assist in administering the estate of a loved one who has passed on. We can help a person named as the executor of an estate understand the steps that must be followed and the legal requirements that must be met during the probate process. We can also assist in establishing a guardianship for a minor child or a disabled adult.
What Does Estate Planning Involve?
A comprehensive estate plan will address what you would like to have happen after your death, and it can also help you make sure you and your family members will be provided for during your lifetime. In addition to specifying how you would like your assets to be distributed to your heirs, you can also take steps to protect your assets, provide instructions for how they should be used, and address how your health care and finances will be managed if you cannot do so yourself.
Do I Need To Be Wealthy To Create An Estate Plan?
No. Everyone should take steps to plan for the unexpected, and by doing so, you can help your family avoid uncertainty or unnecessary complications. Creating a will can make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and it will also allow you to name a person to be your childrens’ guardian. If necessary, you can also create a living will or powers of attorney to make sure your wishes will be followed if you become incapacitated.
How Can I Be Sure My Assets Go To The Beneficiaries I Choose?
By creating a last will and testament, you can specify exactly which property or other assets will go to specific loved ones. A trust can give you even more control over your assets, allowing you to provide specific instructions about when and how they will be distributed to your beneficiaries. This may include specifying that assets will go to a person once they reach a certain age, that assets should be used to pay for a person’s college education or any other provisions that will ensure that assets are distributed according to your wishes.
What Can I Do To Protect The Future Of My Young Children?
Your last will and testament can specify the person or persons that you would like to serve as the guardian(s) of your minor children if you pass away before they reach adulthood. This will ensure that they will be cared for and raised by someone they know and someone you can trust. Your will can also specify that your children will receive certain assets that can be used to provide for their care, or you can create a trust and provide instructions for how your assets should be used to meet your children’s needs.
Can Estate Planning Help Me Reduce Estate Taxes?
Yes. A variety of tools and techniques can be used to avoid estate taxes by reducing the size of your estate or protecting assets from being taxed. Multiple different types of trusts are available for these purposes, including grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs) or qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs). Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) or charitable lead trusts (CLTs) can be used to reduce estate taxes while also donating assets to charity.
Is There A Way To Prevent Family Disputes Over Inheritances?
Disputes between family members can often be avoided by involving them in the estate planning process and making sure everyone understands a person’s wishes for how their assets should be distributed to their heirs. In many cases, disputes can also be avoided by working with an attorney to ensure that a will and other estate planning documents fully describe a person’s wishes and address any other relevant issues related to their finances and property.
How Do I Know If I Can Create A Will?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can create a will that describes how they want matters to be handled after they have passed away. By creating a will, you can specify how you would like your assets to be distributed to your beneficiaries and who should take care of your children. After creating your will, it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
Is It All Right To Use An Online Do-It-Yourself Will?
Even if you do not expect your will to be very complex, it is often best to work with an attorney rather than using online forms. An experienced lawyer can make sure your will includes language that will hold up in court if any disputes arise, and they can also make sure you address any unforeseen issues or complications. By discussing your wishes and goals with you, your attorney can help you create a will that meets your family’s needs. Your lawyer can also make sure you complete all requirements to execute your will correctly.
Should I Consult With An Estate Planning Attorney?
Whether you expect to address some straightforward issues when planning for your family’s future or need to determine how to handle complex financial matters, an estate planning lawyer can help you understand your options and work with you to put the right plans in place. Your attorney can help you create wills, trusts, powers of attorney or other documents that will ensure that your wishes are followed correctly while providing you and your family with peace of mind that your needs will be met in the future.
Contact A DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer
With proper planning, you can avoid uncertainty about your family’s future. Wills, trusts and other estate planning tools allow you to address your finances and health care needs during the remainder of your life, while ensuring that your loved ones will be provided for after your death. No matter your age, health or family status, having an estate plan in place can make sure your family is prepared for whatever happens, and it can help you avoid unexpected legal issues or expenses when addressing your health care and finances in the future. To learn how the attorneys of SBK Law Group can address your plans for the future and make sure your family’s needs will be met, contact our office at 630-427-4407. We provide estate planning services to clients in Downers Grove and Naperville and throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Cook County and Will County.