Trusted Estate Planning Guidance For Your Family
As you consider how to best care for your family when you are gone, you may wonder if you really need a will, a trust or any other estate planning documents. In reality, nearly everyone has a good reason for creating an estate plan.
At Quackenbush Legal, PLLC, our experienced estate planning attorneys are ready to assist you with creating a plan tailored to your needs. As a client-focused team, we believe that everyone should have an estate plan and we will help you decide what type of documents will achieve your goals. We serve clients throughout the Chicago metro area.
Understanding Planning Documents
Estate planning is much more than just drafting a will that divvies up your assets among your heirs. They help you plan for your own aging and declining health, as well as planning for your family’s needs. Common documents include:
- Wills – Most people understand the function of a will, which includes designating your executor and stating how you wish to distribute your assets after your death.
- Trusts – Trusts can serve a wide variety of purposes and can go into effect before or after your death, depending on the type of trust.
- Powers of attorney – These important documents allow you to name a power of attorney you trust to act on your behalf and manage your assets when you are unable to do so.
- Living will – Illinois law allows you to create a document stating the type of medical treatment you want when you cannot express your wishes.
You may also need to create beneficiary designations, examine title to various accounts and real estate and make sure your life insurance documents are in order. In addition, Illinois law recently changed to allow remote witnesses. We have stayed abreast of the changes in the law to make sure your remote witnesses meet the state’s requirements.
When Should You Update Your Plan?
Your estate plan is not something you should do once and leave sitting in a drawer. We recommend you review your plan every year to make sure it still meets your goal. In addition, you should consider making any needed changes when you have a major change to your life or your family such as:
- Marriage or divorce – Any changes to your marital status warrant an examination of your plan. If you are entering a second marriage, you may want to protect children from a prior marriage.
- Death of a loved one – If a family member dies, you may need to remove them from your plan or add inherited assets.
- Birth or adoption – All parents should have a will to appoint a guardian should something happen to them.
- Health concerns – If you face a major health issue, you may want to review your important documents such as your powers of attorney and your living will in case you can no longer express your wishes.
These are just a few examples of the types of changes that can affect your estate plan. Anytime you have questions about whether you should make changes, bring those questions to our attorneys.