Illinois Estate Planning
Estate planning serves a variety of purposes and does much more than simply explain how you'd like your assets distributed after your death. It may help you preserve your wealth as you grow older and help minimize federal and Illinois estate taxes after your death. You can select a legal guardian for your minor children, take more control over the medical treatment you receive and empower other people to handle certain legal and financial tasks for you while you're alive. An estate planning attorney can help assess your needs and recommend the estate planning tools which are right for you.
Do You Need a Last Will & Testament?
The last will and testament is one of the most popular and well-known estate planning documents, and for good reason.
In its most basic form, a last will and testament allows you to:
- Name an executor, or person responsible for managing and distributing your estate after your death
- Explain how you'd like your estate, which includes money, bank accounts, real estate, stocks and personal possessions, distributed to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death
But a last will can do even more. If you have minor children (under the age of 18 in Illinois), you can name a legal guardian for your children in the event that you and your children's other parent die while your kids are still young. When you draft a will, you can leave your estate to more than just your relatives. A will can also direct your executor to distribute money and property to non-profit organizations, for example. And you can use a will to create a trust for your spouse or children.
Before you and your estate planning lawyer create your will, it's important to confirm that you meet the legal requirements. In Illinois that means you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be mentally competent
Additionally, your will must in writing. It must also be signed by you (or signed on your behalf by someone else, in your presence and at your direction), as well as two witnesses who watched you sign it. Your witnesses cannot be beneficiaries.
Find & Hire Local Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys
Whether you live in Chicago or Springfield, Rockford or Aurora, or anywhere else in Illinois, Attorneys.com can help you locate estate planning lawyers in your area. To use our free lawyer referral service, complete the brief form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll quickly connect you with local lawyers.