While it is quite easy for one to focus on what will happen to her property after she dies, it is equally important for a resident of the Chicago area to plan for what will happen to her as she ages and, consequently, starts facing health problems.
As part of almost any estate plan, a resident of the greater Chicago area is going to want to give some guidance on how she want her health care to go. This is particularly important as the chances of a serious illness increase because the person may not be able to make such decisions for herself, even when those decisions involve life or death.
Previous posts on this blog have discussed some of the many services our law office offers to those in the greater Chicago area who are trying to plan what will happen to their assets when they die.
In in general, trusts can be a beneficial component of an estate plan. A trust is an arrangement wherein property is managed for the benefit of another party. The party managing the property is referred to as the trustee and the party receiving the benefit is referred to as the beneficiary.
Having a validly executed will is the basic foundation of a good estate plan. A will provides a cornerstone for the estate planner's overall estate plan and directs how property will be divided to beneficiaries. Personal property that may be distributed in a will can include real property such as a home, household items, bank accounts, jewelry, clothing, cars and books, as well as other items of personal property.
Estate planning can be intimidating if the estate planner is not familiar with the process or what to expect but if they understand the process and know what to expect, they will also understand the benefits. The estate planning process can provide peace of mind for the estate planner and family members, among other benefits as well. Understanding the basics of estate planning is crucial to understanding how to set up an effective estate plan.
Trusts can be an effective estate planning tool that is oftentimes not well understood. Trusts can aid with the management of property during life and can also be useful tools to supplement a will or even replace a will in some circumstances. Trusts can be used to manage property by transferring the benefits and the obligations of the property to other parties.
Having an effective estate plan, which includes the necessary estate planning documents, is important for the estate planner, their family members and the protection of the estate planner's assets. In addition, an effective and well-prepared estate plan is also useful to help minimize conflicts down the road between the estate planner's family members and can help keep the peace during an emotional and stressful time period.
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.