Few people enjoy contemplating their own eventual demises. However, death is a part of life that you cannot avoid and that you also must plan for if you want to spare your survivor’s unneeded worry and expense.
The best way to ease the burden of your loved ones after you pass away is to have your estate planned out and ready to be executed. Before you begin this process, however, you need to understand the intricacies of the estate planning process in Illinois.
Common Questions to Consider When Creating an Estate Plan
Starting your estate plan can be overwhelming, and you might not know where to even begin. Before creating your estate plan, you will need to consider what you want your final wishes to be.
Some questions you should keep in mind as you plan out your estate include:
Who should receive my money and assets after I die?
How much should I give to my spouse and children?
Does my former spouse have a claim to my estate after I pass aw
How will taxes out of my estate be paid?
Who will manage my estate after I die?
If your children are still under the age of 18 when you plan your estate, you must also contemplate to whom you will give custody and how you will arrange for their financial security out of your estate. Remember, that an estate plan isn’t permanent, and as time goes by, you can revise your it accordingly.
What to Include in Your Estate Plan
In Illinois, you must utilize a number of legal documents when planning out your estate. The types of documentation that you use will vary according to your finances and the number and types of assets that you possess.
Some of the most common documents to use in Illinois for planning out your estate include:
Beneficiary designations for life insurance, 401ks, and IRAs
Powers of attorney for healthcare and property decisions
If you own a business, you also must include documentation for how you would like your business executed after your death. The documents to carry out your final wishes for your company may include corporate recapitalization, creation of partnerships, and the establishment of pensions or profit-sharing programs for your employees.
Make a Final Will and Testament
Another aspect of a comprehensive estate plan includes a final will and testament to plan out how you want your estate handled after passing.
To make a legally binding will in Illinois, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a sound mind and memory. Your will must also be put in writing and witnessed by two witnesses 18 years of age and older. The witnesses cannot be named as beneficiaries in your will.
Your will can then be presented in court after your death and proven legally valid so that it can be put into effect and its provisions carried out. You should note, however, that your will cannot legally control any property that is held in tenancy, payable to a designated beneficiary, or held in a trust.
Still, it is crucial that you devise a sound will for your estate. If you die without one, your estate must be put through a costly and time-consuming probate process whereby a state judge will appoint an executor to divide your assets and determine whom, if anyone, should benefit from your money and assets.
Hire an Attorney
Planning out an estate in Illinois can be a complicated process. Rather than leave your estate to chance, you can reach out to the skilled estate planning attorneys at Russo Law Offices LLC for help. Our estate planning legal team can make sure that all of the necessary legal documents in your estate plan are completed and reflect your final wishes.
Contact us at Russo Law Offices LLC today for more information about setting up your estate plan.