It is a common misconception that only the very wealthy or the elderly should have an estate plan. In fact, every adult Illinois resident regardless of their age or the status of their bank account should have several important estate planning tools in place in the event that unexpected life changes occur. This post will discuss some of those documents and how together they can create an effective estate plan.

One important estate planning tool that readers should have in place is a will. A will is a document that describes how a person wants their property to be distributed at the time of their death. While some readers may assume that their possessions do not warrant such considerations, it is important that they know when they do not dictate their preferences on such matters the laws of the state will govern how and where their assets are distributed.

Another important tool that individuals should consider executing is a health proxy. A health proxy gives another person the right to make medical decisions about the creator’s health for them and this can be particularly useful if the proxy creator becomes incapacitated. Through a health proxy a person may make their medical wishes known and ensure that they are respected if they cannot advocate for their own preferred care.

Powers of attorney, trusts and other estate planning tools also serve important purposes to individuals who wish to have control over what happens to their property and assets at the ends of their lives. There are important money saving and tax considerations that can be addressed through estate planning and so it is important that when beginning the process a person speaks with a trusted estate planning attorney about their wishes and needs.