Why Do You Need a Will?
A will is a document that is intended to communicate your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your children after your death. By writing a will, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Name who will receive your assets and when
- Keep your assets from ending up in the wrong hands
- Determine guardians for your children
- Choose an executor
Crafting a Will in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, there are several rules governing the creation of wills. For this document to be legally sound, it must be:
- Made by an individual who is at least 18 years of age and of sound mind and memory
- Documented in writing
- Signed by the maker and witnessed by two individuals who are not beneficiaries under the will
- Presented in court after death and proven to be valid
Having a will can simplify probate, but setting up trusts can make the distribution of your estate an even easier process for all parties involved.
What is a Trust?
A trust is an agreement in which two parties are involved: a trustee and a beneficiary. The trustee’s role is to hold and manage property for the beneficiary. As you’re creating your estate plan, you may set up a living trust, which is created while you’re still alive, or a testamentary trust, which is created under your will.
A living trust holds your assets while you are alive and simplifies the transfer of those assets to your beneficiaries once you have passed. During your lifetime, the trustee retains control over the trust and any changes made to it. Once you have died, the trust property is transferred to the beneficiaries without the need for probate.
This form of trust can be an excellent way for you to ensure that your beneficiaries will receive their designated assets in an efficient and effective manner.
This form of trust is included in your last will and testament. Testamentary trusts are most commonly created when an inheritance of a large sum of money, young children, or relatives with disabilities are involved.
Unlike a living trust, a testamentary trust must go through probate since the property involved will have remained in the decedent’s name at the time of their death.
Don’t Navigate Probate Alone
This court-supervised legal procedure is intended to determine who will inherit your loved one’s property and how their debts or taxes will be settled. During this difficult time, you should be able to focus on grieving and moving forward. At The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab, we strive to provide the compassionate guidance you need to distribute your loved one’s estate in a timely manner.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Don’t wait to plan for the future or get the assistance you need through probate. Schedule a consultation with our attorney in Skokie, Illinois, today. We assist individuals and families in Libertyville, Chicago, and Evanston. Together, we can strive to set you and your loved ones up for success through the creation of a comprehensive estate plan.