Bolingbrook Estate Planning Attorney

Bolingbrook Estate Attorneys Make Estate Planning Easy

If you are stressed out by the idea of planning what will happen to your estate after death, let the Bolingbrook estate planning attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. take care of it for you. It’s human nature not to want to even think about death, but estate planning is an essential part of life for anyone who wants to ensure that their wishes are properly carried out and their family is secure.

Our Bolingbrook estate planning attorneys can help you put legally solid estate plans in place by:

  • Explaining the different types of estate planning documents
  • Determining which options are appropriate for your individual needs, goals, and wishes
  • Drawing up legally solid documents that prevent challenges
  • Finding ways to minimize taxation for your heirs
  • Drawing up documents that state what you want if you become incapacitated and are not able to communicate what life-extending measures and medical treatments you do or do not want.

The Bolingbrook estate attorneys at Wolfe & Stec will address all of your estate planning concerns and ensure that your interests and those of your beneficiaries are protected. We offer a free consultation to discuss what works best for you, so call us today at (630) 305-0222.

Your Estate Lawyer in Bolingbrook Takes Care of Necessary Documents

Basic Estate Documents You Need

Your essential documents are needed to spell out what you want done with your assets in advance, as well as your end-of-life wishes should you become incapacitated. By planning now, you can ensure that property will be distributed promptly and according to personal wishes.

If you die without a will or trust, your assets will be divided according to Illinois intestacy laws, regardless of what you may have wanted. This generally means:

  • If you are married and have children, your spouse gets at least half your estate and your children split the remainder.
  • If you have no spouse or children, your estate will be divided among your nearest living relatives.
  • If you have no living relatives, your property goes to the state.

If the above is not what you want, or if you have a situation such as the desire to disinherit a child or to provide extra care for a disabled one, you need the right forms and documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out. These include:

  • A will or trust. These are documents that appoint a representative, called an executor, to oversee the distribution of your assets based on your stated wishes.
  • A living will or end-of-life wishes declaration, which states in writing information such as whether you want to be resuscitated and whether you want extraordinary efforts taken to keep you alive.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care that appoints a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you if you can no longer make them. This document goes further than a living will and may be used together with one.
  • A durable power of attorney for finances that states who will make your financial decisions if you can no longer do so.

All documents have to be done properly, and some require witnesses and notarized signatures. Do not be caught unprepared should something unexpected happen and you wind up unable to let your decisions be known. Our estate planning lawyers in Bolingbrook will examine your individual needs and handle all your estate planning matters.

Call Wolfe & Stec today at (630) 305-0222 to get started.

Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Bolingbrook Help Determine Whether You Need a Trust

Trusts Can Help Your Heirs Avoid Probate

Probate is a court proceeding which gives your executor authority to pay your bills and transfer your assets, but it can be expensive and time-consuming in Illinois and should often be avoided. A trust designates a trustee to hold legal title to property for your beneficiaries and avoids the probate process. Not everyone needs a trust, however. Heirs of people with no real estate and an estate valued under $100,000 are allowed by Illinois state statutes to file a small-estate affidavit to claim an estate without probate.

If your circumstances warrant a trust, you have two options:

  • Living trust – Most people choose a living trust, which they create while still alive. By designating yourself as the trustee, you can maintain control over all property held in the trust, which your named heirs inherit after you die. You still need a will to name your heirs and to provide for any property that is not in your trust.
  • Irrevocable trusts — These trusts are created to achieve specific goals, such as reducing taxes. They require giving up ownership and control of trust property and cannot be revoked or changed after they are signed.

Our Bolingbrook Estate Planning Attorneys Address Your Questions and Concerns

Here are some common questions and concerns that our Bolingbrook estate planning attorneys frequently address:

Why Is It Important to Have an Attorney Draft Your Will or Trust?

While it is possible to write your own will, Illinois estate laws are complicated, and if you make mistakes, your will or trust will be open to challenges and litigation. When you get legal help from Wolfe & Stec, our attorneys will prepare documents that are legally correct and ensure that your intentions are clearly spelled out so that those you want to inherit your assets and property actually do.

What Happens If Someone Challenges a Will or Trust?

If litigation is brought and your will or trust is successfully contested, your final wishes will not be carried out. The most common reasons that wills and trusts can be contested include:

  • Mental capacity – questioning whether you were of sound mind when drafting the documents
  • Undue influence – if someone coerces you to make provisions benefiting certain individuals
  • Breach of fiduciary duty – when the estate executor acts improperly, such as by stealing or mishandling assets that should have been distributed
  • Execution or interpretation – when documents have not been signed or witnessed according to the law or the terms and instructions have not been interpreted correctly
  • Fraud or forgery.

What if Circumstances Change?

If your circumstances change — such as due to the divorce or death of a primary beneficiary — you must update your estate plan to reflect the new situation, perhaps by naming new beneficiaries and executors. If you fail to do so, your assets could be distributed in ways you do not want, including to your ex-spouse.

When Should a Guardian Be Appointed?

A guardian may be appointed by the court in cases such as if you become incapacitated without having someone named in a durable power of attorney. Guardians manage and make decisions about your healthcare, finances, living arrangements and other matters that may arise. The durable powers of attorney we prepare designate the trusted individuals you want to make decisions for you.

Get Help and Guidance from Our Bolingbrook Estate Attorneys

Don’t take chances with your family’s future. Get the help of a skilled Bolingbrook estate planning attorney from Wolfe & Stec to take care of your estate planning issues today. We have the extensive experience needed to ensure that your estate plans are legally sound. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you don’t have control of your end-of-life decisions or who gets your hard-earned assets and property.

Our Bolingbrook estate planning attorneys will make sure the intent of your will, trust or other document is made clear and preserved to prevent challenges or problems in any area. Call Wolfe & Stec today to schedule a free consultation at (630) 305-0222. We look forward to helping protect your estate and your family’s future.

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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