While estate planning can be daunting, it is a great way to support your family and give peace of mind to those you love. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, everyone should have an estate plan in place in the event of death. Without an estate plan in place, your assets are divided by the state law, which may not be according to your wishes. Preparation now can alleviate the financial burden, prevent conflict between family members and keep family heirlooms and inheritance in the family. Working out your estate plan with our firm in Chicago ensures that you do not have to navigate estate planning laws alone.

What to Consider when Estate Planning

Last Will and Testament. A Will and Testament is a legal document that will state your wishes for your property and assets after death. A relative or trusted family friend should be named as executor of the will to oversee the process. You should also have one or two successor executors, in the event your first choice executor is unavailable. This can ensure that your estate is properly managed and your loved ones are protected. Another legal document that can protect inheritance or property, is a trust. While there are many types of trusts, a testamentary trust holds the right to the inheritance until a designated specific time. This is used when a person would like to leave an inheritance for someone such as a minor child or a disabled adult but would like to hold it until the person is a certain age, or after a certain event (like getting married).    

Power of Attorney for Healthcare and for Financial Decisions.  Appointing a family member or trusted friend as your Power of Attorney for Healthcare to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so can take a burden off of your loved ones towards the end of your life. Additionally, appointing a family member or trusted friend as your Power of Attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf is important when estate planning to avoid confusion and disagreements in the event of your death.

Protect Assets. Family heirlooms and property can be protected in estate planning as well. If you have a family heirloom or inheritance that you wish to keep in your family, your estate planning attorney can prepare a trust to protect those assets in the event that the person you have designated to inherit them becomes divorced, or involved in a lawsuit with a creditor.

Plan for Funeral Costs and Taxes. Funerals can be very costly and taxes on your estate can add up. Estate planning can address these unexpected costs so your family will not have to bear the financial burden.

Where to Begin

The Law Offices of J. Jeltes, Ltd., near Chicago, is experienced in estate planning and is skilled in drafting documents that will protect your loved ones. We will help you evaluate your assets and draft all necessary documents to protect your family’s future. Read more about estate planning here and contact us today to get started.