Why is it important that my New Year’s resolution be to prepare my last will and testament?
Many people think about creating an Estate Plan like a Will or a Trust as a New Year’s resolution during the holiday season. The good news is that Estate Planning is easier and less complicated than most people think. Generally, there are two (2) types of estate planning documents: Wills and Trusts. A Will is a written document stating your plan for the distribution of your assets after death. A Trust is a written document that, like a Will, also states your plan for the distribution of your assets after your death. A Trust, however, provides some additional benefits as compared to a Will. The Trust actually becomes the owner of certain property during your lifetime, usually your real estate and other valuable assets. Generally, you are the Trustee and are in complete control of the ownership, distribution, and addition of property to and from the Trust. Trusts are often used to avoid the need for filing a probate lawsuit after your death. Probate lawsuits can be very expensive, sometimes in excess of $10,000. They can significantly extend the time for the distribution of assets after death. In Illinois, probate lawsuits are required when the decedent dies with a Will or no Will, and the decedent’s assets include real estate valued at any amount or other property with a cumulative value in excess of $100,000. A Trust that is properly prepared and maintained can eliminate the need for the filing of a probate lawsuit.
Please contact the Estate Planning attorneys at Bruning & Associates, PC, at 815-455-3000 to schedule a complimentary free Estate Planning consultation.
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