Estate planning in Winnetka, Illinois is simply the act of deciding what you want to happen to your assets after your death. It normally 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 normally 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 individuals have extremely 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 Winnetka, 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 instance, if you're unmarried, and in your early 20's, estate planning is probably not the most crucial thing in your life. However, if you're seriously ill, and/or unusually wealthy, estate planning might be a priority for you.
Individuals who are, for different possible reasons, unwilling or unable to get married, but are in committed, lifelong relationships, are perhaps most in need of a good Winnetka, 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.
There is another massive group of people who would benefit from having a good Winnetka, Illinois estate plan: the elderly and those with a lot of money really need to consider making a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. While this necessarily contains facing some uncomfortable realities, it is crucial and unavoidable.
Do I Need a Winnetka, Illinois Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning in Winnetka, Illinois is not always confusing, but it certainly can be. In moderately-sized to large estates, with a considerable number of potential beneficiaries, it is crucial to have the assistance of an estate planning professional.