Wills Attorney in Lake County & Cook County, Illinois
Planning for the future is stressful when you're unsure of what is in store. But, in estate planning, you can feel secure about your family's future when you craft a will. And at the Goldstein Law Office, my partners and I take protecting loved ones seriously. I have the resources and knowledge to assist you while keeping your best interests in mind. I proudly serve clients in Lake County, Cook County, Antioch, Deerfield, Highland Park, Lake Forest, North Chicago, and Waukegan, Illinois.
What Is a Will?
In Lake County and Cook County, Illinois, a will is a public document you can use to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing. A will states the arrangements you want for your funeral and the distribution of your assets. Thus, a will allows you to protect your loved ones by ensuring they get your estate after you have passed on.
Who Needs a Will?
In short, everyone needs a will. It does not matter how old or perfectly healthy you are. Having a will gives you the peace of mind you need in uncertain times.
What Are the Different Types of Wills?
There are various types of wills to consider in Illinois. Please read on to find the one that best matches your specific needs:
Simple will. This type of will is the basic one. This will contains basic instructions on designating guardians for minor children and appointing an estate executor.
Living will. A living will is an ideal tool for end-of-life situations. This will type communicates what you want in the event of terminal illness or incapacitation. In particular, this will relieve your loved ones of making life-and-death decisions.
Testamentary trust and will. This type of will directs asset distribution after your passing. However, please note that testamentary wills generally go through probate.
Joint will. Married couples often use joint wills. However, anyone can file a joint will. You can use joint wills to determine the distribution of jointly owned property.
Deathbed will. Folks that have not filed their will can create one on their deathbed. A lawyer must be present to produce the document. However, a deathbed may be challenged based on the individual’s mental capacities.
What Goes into a Will?
Here is a look at the contents of a will:
Asset distribution. Commonly inherited assets include property (i.e., houses, apartments, land, and buildings), cash, investments (i.e., stocks and bonds), vehicles, and valuables (i.e., collectibles, jewelry, coins).
Executor. The executor is the person in charge of managing the estate until all assets have been distributed. The executor can be anyone you determine. Ideally, the executor must be someone you trust.
Guardians. You can name anyone you trust to be the guardian of your minor children.
End-of-life decisions. Your will can include specific instructions regarding end-of-life decisions such as terminal illness and permanent incapacitation.
Funeral arrangements. You can designate specific arrangements such as burial or cremation.
Please note that your will can include any provisions you determine. For instance, you can stipulate who takes care of beloved pets after your passing.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Will?
Having a will is crucial to protect your loved ones. Specifically, when you die intestate or without a will, your loved ones risk losing ownership over your assets. Having a will in place gives you the certainty that your loved ones are provided for.
Additionally, drafting a will allows you to avoid the worst part of the probate process. Probate occurs when a person dies intestate. The court must supervise the asset distribution process assigning them equally to all eligible parties. As a result, there is no guarantee that your specific wishes will be followed.
Lastly, drafting a will helps avoid the costly probate process. The court merely goes through the will and assigns property according to the will’s instructions.
What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
In essence, a will and a trust are the same documents. They specify your instructions regarding asset distribution and ownership transfer. However, a trust is a private document not subject to probate. As a result, property ownership is transferred according to the conditions stated in the trust.
Wills Attorney Serving Lake County & Cook County, Illinois
At the Goldstein Law Office, my team and I are ready to help you plan your estate effectively. Contact me today to talk to a trusted estate planning attorney. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing your loved ones are taken care of. I proudly serve clients in Lake County, Cook County, Antioch, Deerfield, Highland Park, Lake Forest, North Chicago, and Waukegan, Illinois.