Planning the administration of your estate and the distribution of the assets may not be an easy task on your own. Moreover, it is a constant reminder of your mortality. Therefore, many delay to take up the task. This is not the right thing to do. If you possess any property, sizeable or not, there is a need to plan it properly.
Illinois has specific laws in this regard. Any resident of Chicago requires taking help from a lawyer to do this according to these legal directives. You need to find answers to three basic questions – who gets the property after you die, who takes medical decisions in case of your incapacity, who takes financial decisions in case of your incapacity.
The core elements of estate planning are as follows:
Will and Trust – Creating a legal will would give you the opportunity to distribute your assets as per your wish. Make sure to get adequate legal help; otherwise, the court could later deem it invalid. If you die intestate, the Illinois laws dictate that your spouse and children get your property, thus eliminating any other individual you wish to bequeath.
Forming a trust arrangement, like an irrevocable living trust, could also be a way to administer your assets. This is more advantageous if you want to leave part of your assets to a minor or an incapacitated adult. It also saves your loved ones the lengthy and expensive probate process after your decease.
Advance Directive for Health Care – In case a certain health condition leaves you incapable of taking decisions regarding your healthcare, this could be of immense help. Three options are available in Illinois –
Living will – predetermining whether you want life-prolonging procedures
Healthcare power of attorney – giving the right of decision-making to another
Mental healthcare preference declaration – determining which care you want
Power of Attorney – When you sign a durable power of attorney, the objective is to appoint an individual/organization to take care of the financial decisions if you are unable to do so because of incapacity in future. This does not mean that you are handling your assets to him/her; it is only the administration of it in case of your disability to do so.
Whichever of these you are planning, getting help from an estate planning lawyer Chicago is imperative. The estate laws and their implications are quite a complex web, and it is better to let a legal practitioner handle it.
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