Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
Chicago - Schaumburg - Northbrook - Wheaton Estate Planning Attorneys
It is important that you and your family analyze your estate planning needs. Important questions - questions that many of us would prefer to avoid - need to be answered to ensure the welfare of your loved ones.
- Who will care for my children?
- How can I provide for them financially after I'm gone?
- Who has the legal authority to make medical and financial decisions for me if I become incapacitated?
Simply making others aware of your wishes is not enough. It is essential that you have the legal framework in place to ensure that your directions are communicated correctly and are followed.
The Illinois estate planning attorneys of Anderson & Associates have 25 years of experience helping individuals and couples navigate the many issues involved in developing an appropriate and effective estate plan. We tailor each plan specifically to meet our clients' unique family situation and personal goals.
- Last will and testament: The most basic estate planning tool, it can address a wide range of personal and financial matters.
- Trust: A trust transfers assets to beneficiaries while avoiding probate and reducing estate tax penalties. There are many types of trusts, such as living trusts, credit shelter trusts, A/B trusts, marital trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILET)
- Living wills: This document records healthcare decisions regarding terminal illness and life-support options. It is also known as a healthcare directive.
- Durable power of attorney: This gives legal power to someone to make healthcare or financial decisions.
Is it Time to Review Your Plan?
It is advisable to review your estate plan anytime there has been a significant change in your life circumstances. For instance, if you added a child to your family, got married or divorced, or if you have acquired significant new assets.
It is also important to review your estate plan in light of recent and upcoming changes to federal and state tax law. Depending upon the value of your assets and the manner in which your assets are owned, your estate may be subject to sizable state or federal taxes. Tools such as marital trusts and credit shelter trusts or bypass trusts, as well as irrevocable life insurance trusts can minimize or completely eliminate the tax burden on your estate upon your death.
Considerations for Disabled Persons
In the event that you or a loved one becomes disabled without an estate plan in place, a probate estate may need to be opened and administered by a lawyer so that a guardian can be appointed to manage the estate. The attorneys of Anderson & Associates also handle estate administrations, guardianship proceedings, and trust administration.
Probate Law and Estate Contests
When valid estate documents do not exist, the estate is administered by the probate court according to state probate code. We handle probate matters on behalf of the estate itself, family members, and other interested parties. In some cases the validity of a will or trust is challenged by a family member or potential beneficiary. Sometimes these objections are frivolous attempts to secure a portion of an estate. But estate contests can also stop the execution of an illegally formed will or trust.
For experienced legal representation in estate planning matters, contact the lawyers of Anderson & Associates or call 312-345-9999 (Chicago) or 847-995-9999 (Schaumburg office) or 630-653-9400 (Wheaton office) to schedule a free consultation.
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