The Estate Planning attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. understand that planning for a will or a trust is a very important, sensitive, and sometimes a very private process. Our attorneys work diligently to establish a sense of comfort, security, and peace of mind for our clients during the Estate Planning process. Please contact our law firm to schedule a no-cost consultation with an Illinois estate planning lawyer who can advise you on options after reviewing your circumstances. An overview of your options and a description of our services are also helpful.
Goals You Can Achieve with a Customized Estate Plan: Your Estate Plan is the primary and legally enforceable method by which you can set forth the specifics for the passing of your Estate’s assets. An Estate Plan can also be important to the protection of one’s assets and personal interests. There are also some specific objectives you may want to consider when starting the estate planning conversation, including:
- Ensure there is someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated due to a medical condition or legal disability.
- Name an agent to manage your real estate, personal property, and financial matters when you cannot do so because of incapacity.
- Appoint someone you trust as your executor to manage your final affairs.
- Provide instructions on who will receive specific assets after you pass away.
- Indicate your wishes on who should act as guardian of minor children.
- Avoid the expensive, time-consuming probate process.
- Protect your private, confidential matters from becoming public record.
- Institute controls over distributions to beneficiaries who are young or not financially savvy.
- Provide for a loved one with special needs without putting that person at risk of losing important public benefits.
- Minimize or avoid estate taxes, which may apply to estates valued at $4 million or more under Illinois estate tax laws.
Bruning & Associates P.C. will help you evaluate your goals for estate planning, which is an important first step in determining an arrangement that will achieve them.
Estate Planning Options Under Illinois Law: We utilize a broad range of Estate Planning vehicles such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to meet your goals and expectations for your plan and to avoid Probate Court Proceedings. The skilled Estate Planning lawyers at Bruning & Associates, P.C. have years of education, training, and experience at Estate Planning, and will prepare an Estate Plan that will effectively protect assets and make sure that your estate is passed on according to your wishes.
While the specifics will vary, the core components of an estate plan include:
Last Will and Testament: With this document, you name an executor to manage your estate according to the instructions you provide. You will also include provisions on how to distribute specific assets to beneficiaries, and how the residue of your estate should be distributed.
Power of Attorney for Health Care: When you cannot make decisions regarding medical care and well-being, a power of attorney for health care steps in. You name an agent to communicate with providers, apply for public benefits, make arrangements for long-term care, and handle other medical needs.
Power of Attorney for Property: You can also name an agent to manage your assets in the event of incapacity, and this person has the power to make any property-related or financial decisions on your behalf.
Living Will: Many people have strong convictions about end-of-life care and whether they want life-sustaining treatment provided, withheld, or withdrawn. A living will state your intentions to physicians if you have a terminal condition.
Trusts: There are numerous types of trusts that may suit your circumstances, and our lawyers will explain how different structures help achieve your goals. In short, a trust is a legal entity. A grantor transfers assets into the trust, which are managed by the trustee for the benefit of beneficiaries.
Adverse Implications Without Estate Planning: One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate the importance of estate planning is to describe what happens if you do not make appropriate arrangements. For instance:
- Without a power of attorney for health care that addresses incapacity, your family will need to request the court to appoint a guardian to make medical decisions on your behalf. Guardianship proceedings can take weeks or months, during which time you may not be receiving optimal care.
- If you do not execute a power of attorney for property, loved ones must also request the appointment of a guardian. Your assets could dissipate or deteriorate, and creditors may pursue you for unpaid debts.
- Unless you prepare a will, you have no control over how your assets are distributed. Illinois intestacy laws apply, which may result in your estate going to individuals you never intended. Plus, there are laws that determine who will act as a personal representative, and someone you do not trust could be in charge of your estate.
Not having a trust makes your private affairs public, and you cannot take advantage of strategies for avoiding probate.
Our Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys Will Advise You on Options
While a summary of estate planning documents and structures is helpful, this information should also convince you that retaining legal help is critical when taking the first steps. Bruning & Associates P.C. has offices conveniently located near you in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake, Illinois. Please contact Bruning & Associates, P.C. for a free Estate Planning consultation.
Serving clients with Estate Planning matters in McHenry County including but not limited to Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, McHenry & Woodstock. We also represent clients throughout Northern Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Boone County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, LaSalle County, and Winnebago County.