Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Estate planning is one of those areas of life that many people seek to avoid. At the same time, people appreciate its importance. Planning for a smooth transition of assets from one generation to the next can bring peace of mind, prevent legal troubles at the time of death and ensure that property will be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased when the time comes.

Question No. 1: ' How should I begin?'

Getting answers to key questions is the first step toward getting your estate plan in order. You can overcome inertia and procrastination as you uncover the essentials of estate planning.

Bring your questions to Barbara J. Bell, Attorney at Law, in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and get answers tailored to your unique situation and concerns. She can also meet with you in Libertyville, Mundelein, Chicago and Palos Heights or elsewhere in Illinois.

Some questions that previous clients have asked regarding estate planning include the following:

'What happens if someone dies without a will?'

An estate without a will is considered to be intestate. Immediate family members or other people close to the deceased person will need time, money and permission from the court to distribute someone's assets after an intestate death. Squabbles among likely heirs are common when there is no will. Conflicts between siblings or between a second wife (or husband) and children from a previous marriage are especially common.

'Why should I get an attorney involved in the creation of a will and other aspects of estate planning?'

Even if you make a determined attempt to put a will and other key documents in place on your own, there is a good possibility you will miss recent changes in the law that could make a difference in your case. Working closely with an experienced, active attorney can help ensure that your estate plan will really work as intended.

'How can I ensure that my assets will be distributed after my death according to my wishes as they are expressed in my will?'

Choosing a personal representative (executor) whom you trust, making sure your will is signed correctly and assigning your assets to a trust, if applicable, are proven ways to ensure good outcomes.

'Can I protect my pet's future through estate planning documentation?'

People usually outlive their cats, dogs, parrots and horses — but not always. If you have a pet that means a lot to you, you can certainly provide for lifelong care of your pet in your will or through a trust. Talk to an estate planning attorney for guidance.

'How can I provide for my disabled child or other family member through estate planning?'

A special needs trust can help ensure that your assets are dedicated to taking care of your son or daughter with disabilities.

'When should I get an estate plan in place?'

Every day, people die in car accidents, in floods or due to heart attacks without having completed their estate plans. A health crisis, development of dementia and similar challenges may become overwhelming before you know it. Don't risk leaving your estate in disarray in case of the unexpected. Contact Barbara J. Bell, Attorney at Law, by phone or email to get the process started sooner rather than later. It doesn't matter whether you are 21 or 81; a well-crafted estate plan is one of the best investments you can make.

Bring Your Own Questions About Wills And Trusts

Get the answers you need now. Contact Barbara J. Bell, Attorney at Law, to schedule a consultation about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and more. Secure your legacy and enjoy peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. Call 847-984-0215 or send an email inquiry to reach an Illinois estate planning lawyer through this website.