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Why you should have an Illinois estate plan

Establish an Illinois estate plan that deals with your money, property and legal affairs in a responsible and sensitive way.
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    January 30, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Why you should have an Illinois estate plan

Article provided by Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd.
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It's human nature for some not to want to think about what would happen to their affairs if they become incapacitated or passed away. But you owe it to yourself, your family and loved ones to resolve these issues while you are vibrant and sharp. Establish an estate plan that deals with your money, property and legal affairs in a responsible and sensitive way.

Estate planning issues

Most Illinoisans have a general idea of who they want to inherit their estates, but beyond that there are a lot of legal and logistical issues to work out. It is smart to make an appointment with an Illinois estate planning attorney to start the process. Your estate planning lawyer will ask you important questions designed to uncover information to consider in the estate planning process such as:
-Who do you want to inherit your real estate, personal property and money?
-Do any of your potential heirs have problems managing their affairs or handling money wisely?
-Are there difficult circumstances that could cause others stress like children from different relationships or marriages who could have different agendas or expectations?
-Do you have family members with disabilities or who are elderly who will need special consideration for future planning?
-Do you have minor children who would need a guardian named if something should happen to you?
-Who would you want to handle your personal and business affairs should you become incapacitated?
-What do you want to happen to your family business or farm upon your incapacity or death?
-Do you want to leave any of your assets to charity?
-Are there family members you do want disinherit?

Many of these questions touch on difficult personal issues, but facing them now and finding legal counsel who can advise you on how to see that your preferences are carried out can prevent unexpected or unwanted outcomes. Your lawyer can educate you about whether you should consider:
-Drafting a will to direct disposition of your property at death, set up trusts if appropriate, appoint a personal representative or estate administrator, and name guardians for minor children
-Gifting some property during your lifetime or arranging for some property to be co-owned with other people
-Setting up trusts during your lifetime
-Executing a power of attorney over property that gives the person of your choosing legal authority to take over your financial affairs should you become incompetent
-Establishing a medical power of attorney to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you in case of incapacity, and a living will to leave directions for your doctor in the same instance
-Purchasing life insurance as well as naming insurance beneficiaries as part of the overall scheme
-Setting up a special needs trust, also called a supplemental needs trust or SNT, to help provide for a loved one with severe disabilities while still maintaining his or her eligibility for public benefits
-Planning the future of your business or farm considering such issues as whether it will cease operations on your death or incapacity, whether it should remain owned or managed by family, whether outside management should be brought in and when, and other similar questions
-And more

A skilled Illinois estate planning attorney can also advise you of the tax consequences of various options, including potential income, gift and estate tax matters. An Illinoisan of any walk of life or income level should not put off finding a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer today.

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