Estate planning in Westchester, Illinois is simply the act of deciding what you want to happen to your assets after your death. It usually entails making plans about funeral arrangements, as well as plans for end of life care.
While the drafting of a will (the document that dictates what is to be done with the decedent's property after death) is usually the central component of any estate plan, there are several other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
A will is rarely the only aspect of a comprehensive estate plan. Most people have very strong preferences about their end-of-life care, especially when, and under what circumstances, they would want to be taken off life support, if that every happens. These wishes should be made in writing, and discussed with family. Additionally, preferences on organ donation and funeral arrangements should also be made clear.
Crucially, your plan should make arrangements for the care and custody of your children, if they are minors. However you should first discuss this matter with the person who you intend to take custody of your children in case something happens to you, to make sure they are willing and able to do so.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Westchester, Illinois?
Obviously, this depends on your needs, which you will have to figure out for yourself. Some typical considerations in making this decision, however, are your health, age, and the amount of assets involved.
For example, if you are in your 20's and unmarried, an estate plan probably does not need to be on your priorities, unless you are very ill, or independently wealthy.
Individuals who are, for various possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good Westchester, Illinois estate plan. Because couples who aren't married don't automatically get any of the legal rights (such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and power of attorney) that come with marriage, they have to secure these rights through other means, such as wills and power of attorney agreements.
Other groups for whom estate planning is very critical in Westchester, Illinois are people who are elderly and/or have a lot of assets. This may be the point in one's life where estate planning is most critical. While it's true that the process of making an estate plan requires a person to deal directly with the reality of their own mortality, it is extremely important if you value the security that comes with the knowledge that your family will be provided for.
Do I Need a Westchester, Illinois Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning in Westchester, Illinois can involve some convoluted legal and financial issues, it is crucial to undertake this task with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning.