Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. Estates of all sizes can benefit from this written legal arrangement. A will, trust and powers of attorney are the vehicles by which you can get your affairs in order.
At the Law Offices of Thaddeus M. Bond, Jr. & Associates, our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you decide which of these documents are right for you. To arrange a consultation, please call us at 847-599-9101. We have offices in Waukegan and Libertyville and proudly provide legal services throughout northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.
View a questionnaire for new clients.
What is an Estate Plan?
Estate planning includes designating how your assets and property will be managed and distributed after your death. It may also include a trust so your family can avoid probate court and so that your affairs will remain private. Your estate plan may also include designating who is responsible for making decisions about your health and your property in the event your are incapacitated and unable to make these decisions yourself.
Some of the benefits of estate planning include:
- Distributing your property and assets among people of your choosing, in the manner you want and intend
- Preventing family discord and disagreement over your assets, property and healthcare
- Ensuring your spouse and dependent children are provided for in the event of your death
- Organizing your finances to spare your family this chore in the event of your death
- Having a plan in place for if you are unable to make decisions for yourself
Most of us don't want to ponder the prospect of our own death or disability, but planning for your beneficiaries is important to your legacy. Doing so protects the wealth, property and assets you have worked hard for your entire professional career, ensuring the intended recipients enjoy the fruits of your labor and preserve your legacy.
Estates come in all sizes and at various income levels. If you have always assumed you do not have enough money and property for a will or trust, you may be mistaken. Any property you own can and should be addressed in these legal documents. Family discord can arise over things like a vehicle, a wedding ring or fine dining china. Let us help you plan for how your estate will be distributed so that your family can avoid these issues.
Wills, Trusts and Durable Powers of Attorney
Our experienced attorneys can help with all aspects of estate planning, the most common documents being:
- Wills, which distribute property and other assets and carry out other wishes you may have. A last will is effective upon your death and names beneficiaries, as well as what they shall receive and when they shall receive it and names a guardian for your children. Wills also name an executor and tells them how and when to distribute assets according to your instructions.
- Trusts, like wills, name beneficiaries. The major advantage of a trust is that it allows your family to avoid probate court, which is a necessary step in most cases if only a will exists. A trust keeps your estate private. A living trust may be made to be revocable, which means you can modify it. Unlike a will, a trust cannot name guardians for dependent children. A living trust is managed while you are living, either by you or someone you designate.
- Durable Powers of Attorney, which make it possible for you to name a person responsible for handling your property and a person responsible for handling your healthcare and medical decisions when you are incapacitated or disabled in a way that prevents you from making your own decisions. These are called Power of Attorney for Property and a Health Care Power of Attorney. They need not appoint the same decision maker as they are two separate directives.
This type of legal planning means you can rest assured that these issues are resolved and dealt with in the way you intend. Estate planning not only serves your interests but also protects your family from having to make decisions they are unsure about or having to rely on the State to distribute your property for you.
Even if you already have a will or trust, you should keep them updated throughout the years. Tax laws change and family structure may change as well. Consult our lawyers about creating a will or trust or about managing your existing documents.
Contact Us for Family Estate Planning in Illinois
If you are searching for an experienced wills and trusts lawyer in Waukegan, Libertyville, Gurnee, Lake County or any of the surrounding areas of Illinois or southeast Wisconsin, please call the Law Offices of Thaddeus M. Bond, Jr. & Associates, at 847-599-9101. Our compassionate, skilled attorneys can help you with these decisions about your family, property and assets. Once you have gotten your affairs in order you can enjoy the confidence of knowing your loved ones will be provided for and spared disagreements over your assets after your passing.