Estate Planning & Probate Attorney Serving South Holland, Illinois
Your estate planning needs can be as unique as you or your family and will evolve as time passes and circumstances change. We look at your current stage in life and develop a plan that is affordable and meets your needs and goals. Whether starting in life as a college graduate or a newlywed, starting your family, nearing retirement age, or planning for the eventuality of nursing home care, we can craft an estate plan to meet your needs. We will help you establish a comprehensive estate plan that protects your assets, ensures your property is distributed according to your wishes, provides directives for certain medical situations, and more.
We offer a full panoply of estate planning services, including wills, trusts (including revocable, or “living” trusts, special needs trusts, and land trusts), powers of attorney, healthcare directives/living wills, authorizations for the release of healthcare information, and guardianships. For more details and some definitions connected with these services, click here.
What About Probate?
Administering a decedent’s estate or probating a will should not be attempted without an attorney’s advice. We provide legal counsel to executors, personal representatives, beneficiaries, and other clients with a vested interest in the administration of an estate or the probate process. Have you been named the personal representative or executor of an estate? Then you have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the assets are properly accounted for, creditors are paid, taxes are filed, and that property is distributed according to the will, trust, or the law of intestate succession. You will need a clear understanding of your rights and obligations before pursuing the probate or estate administration process. We will assist you in the estate administration process, and ensure that you properly handle the assets and property of the estate.
Do you want your employees, organization, church, or other group to know more about the estate planning process? Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization and wish to encourage your supporters or participants to provide for your NFP in their estate plans? We are ready to present helpful seminars to encourage and educate your group.
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Estate Planning Explanation
Here are some brief explanations and definitions of the estate planning terms attorneys use and discuss:
A Will provides for the distribution of your property after you die.
A special clause added to your Will to provide for minor children or others, naming a guardian and a trustee.
More comprehensive and flexible than a Will, a Trust not only provides for matters after you die but while you’re still alive. A trust protects you if you are disabled. It gives you more control over the use of assets and can help plan for the ongoing maintenance of investments or a business. Used properly, Trusts can help avoid or lessen the impact of estate taxes, and can also aid in bypassing the probate process. Trusts can also help protect your privacy: A Will is required by law to be filed with the Court, making it a matter of public record; Living Trusts are private.
All estate plans should include documents that will protect you and alert the world to your intent in the event you become disabled, including living wills, powers of attorney for property and health care, and authorizations for the release of health care information (commonly known as a “HIPAA authorizations”).
A land trust is useful for individuals and corporate entities to hold real estate, for estate planning purposes, for avoiding probate, as a shield to liability, to help protect privacy, or to help manage real estate investments. With a land trust, title to the property is conveyed to a Bank as the Land Trustee, with you (or someone you name) as beneficiary, holding a “power of direction,” which gives you the authority to control the trust.
Special Needs Planning:
Families with disabled adult children need to plan carefully so that a child’s potential inheritance will not disqualify them from government benefits.