Most people don’t give enough thought to what will happen after they die. This may just be because it’s a topic most people would rather not think about, but the fact remains that failing to plan ahead can result in an outcome you would rather avoid.
Your assets may not be distributed in a way that you would prefer or that would even make sense to you. Your loved ones may end up falling out with each other in disputes over who should inherit what from your estate. Finally, the cost of settling the estate may end up being much higher than you would like, reducing the assets available to distribute to your beneficiaries.
All these things can be avoided by creating an estate plan ahead of time with the help of an estate planning attorney. In the Chicago, IL area, you can call the Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered at (312) 236-7005 for a personalized evaluation of your situation and your needs.
Here are some answers to a few of the questions you might have about estate planning in Chicago, IL.
Estate planning is the process of thinking ahead and making strategic choices so that you can maximize the benefit you and your loved ones will derive from your estate. This includes deciding how your assets will be managed while you’re still alive (so you can benefit from them) as well as deciding how they will be distributed after you die (so your loved ones can benefit from them) while minimizing taxes and other expenses as much as possible.
People often have something specific they want to achieve with their estate, such as making sure their medical expenses are provided for in case they become incapacitated, or providing for a child until he reaches the age where he can make his own financial decisions. You may simply want to the reduce stress on your beneficiaries by ensuring that they don’t have to wait for the will to go through probate before the assets are disbursed.
Estate planning is basically just the process of putting everything in place so you can achieve these goals, whatever they may be. If you’re thinking of putting together an estate plan in the Chicago, IL area, the Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered can help you figure out the best way to proceed.
The basic responsibility of an estate attorney is to help people figure out what goals they want to achieve with their estate and then craft a plan that will achieve these goals. Some estates are very simple and may not require much beyond the basics, while others would benefit from a carefully-crafted estate plan addressing multiple topics and contingencies. Most people tend to assume they only need a will, but the reality is that many of those people would benefit from some of the other things an estate plan can provide.
If you do not yet have a will, an estate planning attorney will help you draft one so that you can control the distribution of your assets instead of leaving those decisions up to the state – in Chicago, IL, an estate with no will is usually divided so that the surviving spouse receives half and the surviving children each receive equal shares of the other half.
If you’d rather have more control over the distribution of your assets than that, your estate planning attorney will help you figure out what you want to do and how to make it happen. This may involve a living trust as well as a will, because a living trust makes it possible to avoid probate and still have full control over how all your assets are distributed.
Along with a will and a living trust, the estate attorney will help you set up powers of attorney for your property and your health care, to make sure all your needs are provided for if you are no longer in a position to take care of those things yourself.
Some estate plans are a lot more involved than just a will, a trust, and powers of attorney. It’s up to you if you want to include other options such as bankruptcy asset protection, testamentary trusts, educational trusts, and so on. The most important responsibility of an estate planning attorney is to educate you about all your options, so you can make your own decisions to achieve the goals that are important to you. The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered has the expertise to answer all your questions and help you make these decisions in the Chicago, IL area.
The most important point to consider when choosing an estate planning attorney is trust. The attorney who helps you prepare your estate plan will be responsible for some of the most important financial decisions in your life. It is essential for you to be able to trust the expertise, competence, and integrity of the attorney you choose.
Look for an estate planning attorney with many years of experience in every aspect of estate law. Your specific circumstances may not be exactly like anyone else’s, so you need an attorney who has worked with many different types of clients and has the depth of experience needed to understand every situation that may arise. Avoid attorneys who treat estate planning as an afterthought or just one among the many areas of law they dabble in. Check the references and reputation of any attorney you’re considering, to see what past customers and colleagues have to say about their skill and integrity.
The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered was founded in 1990 in Chicago, IL and Northbrook, IL after Mr. Sohn had already spent many years as a practicing attorney. The Chicago, IL estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered have the knowledge, expertise, and experience needed to help you achieve your estate planning goals.