The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know part 1

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know part 1

No one likes to think about the end of their life or the death of a loved one. As a result, estate planning is a difficult issue that many people want to avoid discussing. Unfortunately, there is a steep price to be paid for avoiding estate planning discussions and legal preparation. Without a proper estate plan, your assets might not be distributed as you intended and your loved ones could suffer the consequences in terms of time, money, and stress.

Comprehensive estate planning, however, allows you to prevent unintended property distribution, minimize any negative tax impact, maintain privacy, and ensure that yourminor children are cared for by the guardians of your choosing. As an experienced estateplanning lawyer, Marc Blumenthal knows the ins and outs of the Illinois estate planningprocess and, in this e-book, he provides you with an insider’s guide to Illinois estateplanning with the five estate planning secrets that you need to know.

1. Everyone needs a will.

Let me repeat: everyone needs a will. Many people assume that they do not need a will because they do not have significant assets, they are unmarried, or they do not have children. But a will is absolutely essential regardless of your financial, marital, or parenting status. If you die without a will – which is often referred to as dying intestate – state law will determine the distribution of your assets, which may not be the way that you would want your property to be distributed.

Additionally, if you die without a will, the probate process is significantly more time- consuming and costly. A Court will oversee the distribution of your assets and the payment of your debts, which is often be a slow and tedious process. The probate process is often more costly, as well, because the court requires an annual accounting for all costs associated with the estate of an intestate decedent.

If you have children, and both parents die without a will, the court will also decide who will assume guardianship of your children. Not only might the court’s decision about guardianship contradict your intentions, but it could also lead to significant family disputes about who will assume guardianship.

Finally, intestate probate proceedings are public proceedings, with all information publicly available. Accordingly, the value of your assets, the amount of your debts, and any family secrets could be aired in court and available for public eyes to see.

By setting forth your intentions in a will, you can ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, that your children are cared for by the guardians of your choosing, and that your personal matters remain private.

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