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Hinsdale Will Attorneys
Understanding Wills and Estate Planning in Illinois
A will is one of the most common estate planning tools that people are familiar with. It is a legal document that you create to express how you would like your assets and property distributed at the time of your death. A will allows you to name the individuals—or charities, organizations, etc.—to which you would like your assets to be distributed and to specify the amounts of each distribution. Important provisions, such as the appointment of guardians for minor children and your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains, can also be included in a will. Russo Law Offices provides the guidance and understanding you need to ensure this document is drawn up professionally and appropriately.
A will is an important estate planning tool because it:
- Names the executor of the estate
- Establishes guardians for minors
- Designates beneficiaries
- Defines who is the rightful heir to property
The most common question we hear from our clients is, “Do I need a will?” Simply put, the answer is always “yes.” Everyone should create an estate plan to fit their individual needs. A single person has much different needs than a mother of a family, so the objectives of their estate planning would vary greatly. Russo Law Offices can take into consideration all your concerns and questions and effectively capture your wishes.
The will serves as the basis of every estate plan we create, and we work with each client to add the necessary documents—like trusts, powers of attorney, and beneficiary designations—that fully satisfy the client’s wishes. If you don’t create a will prior to your passing, your assets may be divided by the state and distributed based on the intestacy law, or the condition of the estate when a person dies. Many times, the state will give your property to your closest relatives. However, if you don’t have close relatives, the state will inherit your property. The states actions may be in direct opposition to what the deceased person may have wanted.
We help clients of all ages and asset levels develop an estate plan and prepare for the future. Contact our Hinsdale will planning attorneys at (630) 608-6697 and let us guide you through the process.
Do I Need a Living Will?
The living will is another document in estate planning and included in the plan created by our Hinsdale estate planning attorneys, but is different from a last will. The living will is actually a health care directive that is sometimes referred to as a “directive.” It is a written statement that details the desired medical treatment and actions that be taken in the event a person is unable to express informed consent. Many times, this applies to situations where a person is on life support or terminally ill. Russo Law Offices can thoroughly explain this process and the importance of having a living will.
What Makes a Will Legally Binding in Illinois?
A legally binding will in Illinois will include the following:
- The person creating the will (the “testator”) must be at least 18 years old
- The testator must have the mental capacity to create a will
- The testator must sign the will
- Two witnesses, who are not beneficiaries, must sign the will
- The will must be put down in writing
- The testator can include any beneficiaries as long as they are not witnesses to the will
Tomorrow is never promised. Planning for your future can provide comfort and peace of mind. If you have a spouse or children, it’s especially important to work with our compassionate team of estate planning lawyers. We can make sure your family is taken care of and that your finances, properties, and other cherished belongings are appropriately distributed in the case that you pass away unexpectedly.
“My experience with Russo Law Offices, LLC was exceptionally supportive. Attorney Allyson B. Russo assisted me with legal advice that made clear the legalities of my parent's property and how I needed to respond to a related summons.” - Caprice W.
“Allyson is very knowledgeable about estate matters and shares her experience in a clear and forthright manner. She was very pleasant and patient with our questions and prompt with written and oral responses.” - Rita H.
“We enjoyed working with Russo Law Offices for our estate planning. They took their time to explain the details of this process and walk us through all of the steps. They helped us navigate this journey even during the pandemic.” - Mark M.