Estate planning is not only for wealthy people; anyone who leaves assets behind after passing away has an estate. There may also be issues related to debts and obligations that heirs in Illinois must address. Spending time with an attorney to effectively plan out a will or trust could make life less stressful and more orderly for heirs.
A basic point about wills and estates
When someone dies with a will, Illinois’ intestate succession laws come into play. The testator might not want assets distributed in the manner that the law mandates, so crafting a will might address their concerns. Also, writing a will allows someone to name an executor to handle the estate’s responsibilities.
Someone must distribute the assets and pay all debts and obligations to settle the estate during probate. A testator likely wants the most competent person for the job, so naming that person in the will might help such a cause.
In addition, estate planning could involve steps to avoid probate. Naming beneficiaries to applicable accounts may allow things to pass to the new owners much more smoothly.
Estate planning can also include collecting passwords to vital online accounts, providing files related to debts and compiling other information the executor might require. Taking additional steps such as these could help probate move faster.
Other matters related to estate planning
Estate planning might entail other actions besides writing a will. What if concerns arise about any heirs’ money management skills? Perhaps drawing up a trust could be the better idea. Maybe designating an agent to handle financial duties seems advisable before the planner passes away.
Establishing power of attorney duties could also be a possibility. Power of attorney does not extend to health care decisions; a living will or a health care proxy centers on deciding about medical matters for the incapacitated and those who can’t communicate.
An estate plan may provide a formal way for a testator to draw up a will. Estate planning steps help create a structured and legal process for heirs to follow. For those who want to leave an organized estate plan, an experienced attorney may help with creating documents that are valid under state law.