Darien IL Estate Planning Attorney

Work with a Darien Estate Attorney to Plan for Your Future

Quality estate planning is the one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family. While it is unpleasant to think about death, the peace of mind this process provides is priceless. The Darien estate planning attorneys at Wolfe & Stec can reduce the stress of the unknown by helping you develop legally sound estate plans that ensure your wishes are documented and will be executed. We help to protect the future of your family and assist you in planning for all unforeseen circumstances.

Our Darien Estate Attorneys Walk You Through the Process

At Wolf & Stec we are proud of the high quality and critical work our estate planning attorneys do every day. While serving you, they will:

  • Explain the different types of estate planning documents and what each does
  • Develop plans that align with your unique needs, goals, and wishes
  • Create legally sound documentation to prevent future challenges
  • Determine ways to minimize tax consequences for your beneficiaries

Rest assured, your Wolfe & Stec attorney will professionally attend to all of your estate planning needs and ensure that your best interests and those of your beneficiaries are prioritized and protected. We offer all potential clients a free and confidential consultation to discuss their needs. Contact us today at (630) 305-0222 to schedule an appointment.

Your Estate Lawyer in Darien Explains which Documents You May Need

Basic Estate Documents People Should Have

Everyone should have an estate plan, regardless of their net worth. This is not a process only the wealthy undertake. The benefits from pre-planning are significant. Creating an estate plan ensures that your property will be distributed promptly and according to your personal wishes.

Should you die without a will or trust, your assets will be divided according to Illinois intestacy laws. In generally, this results in your spouse receiving at least half of your estate and you are your children dividing the remainder. If you are unmarried and without children, your estate will be split among your nearest living relatives; and if you have no living relatives, your property goes to the state.

Should your wishes differ from this you need a will or trust to share them. If you have an elderly relative and want to provide for them in the future, you will need to specify this in your will. Likewise, if you have had a falling out with one of your children, and wish to disinherit them, that would need to be documented as well. Finally, in your will or trust you can identify an executor of your choice. He or she will oversee asset distribution. In addition, there are other basic documents that everyone should have. These include:

  • A written living will or end-of-life wishes declaration, which shares medical decisions including whether you wish to be resuscitated and to what lengths doctors should go to prolong your life.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care identifies a trusted person to make health care decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make them yourself. This document goes further than a living will and may be used in conjunction with one.
  • A durable power of attorney for finances appoints an individual of your choice to make your financial decisions if you are unable.

Life rarely goes as planned. Do not be caught unprepared. Having the appropriate documents in place ensures your wishes will be carried out. Each family and their financial situation are unique. As such, estate planning lawyers in Darien will examine the specific circumstances of your estate planning matters and find the best solutions for you.

Call Wolfe & Stec today to set up a free consultation with one of our Darien estate attorneys at (630) 305-0222.

Creating a Trust with Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Darien

Trusts Can Help Avoid Probate

A trust designates an individual, called the trustee, to hold legal title to property for your beneficiaries.

Both expensive and time consuming in Illinois, probate is a court proceeding which provides your executor the authority to settle your debts and transfer your assets. Creating a living trust helps avoid the probate process. That said, it is not the best choice for everyone. Whether or not you should depends upon your asset base and financial circumstances. For example, if you do not own any real estate and your estate is valued below $100,000, state statutes allow your heirs to avoid probate and claim your estate without probate.

Consider these two types of trusts:

  • Living trust – This is the most common type of trust. It is created by your estate planning attorney while you are alive. Usually, the person for whom it was drafted names him/herself as the trustee and retains control over all property held in the trust. Upon your death, your beneficiaries, as named in your will, inherit the property. It is critical to recognize that a living trust does not take the place of a will which is still necessary to identify those who will inherit any property not held in your trust.
  • Irrevocable trusts — These trusts require relinquishing ownership and control of trust property and cannot be revoked or changed after they are signed. These are created to carry out specific goals including, among others, the reduction of taxes.

Our estate planning lawyers in Darien will meet with you, determine your needs, and advise on how a trust may benefit you. Then, if you wish, they will create a living trust for you. Call Wolfe & Stec today at (630) 305-0222 with your trust questions.

Wolf & Stec Estate Planning Attorneys in Darien Answer Your Questions and Address Your Concerns

The estate planning process is complex. As such, our clients ask a broad range of questions. Our answers to them always consider their specific circumstances. That said, we have shared some frequently asked questions and our general responses below.

Do I Need an Attorney Draft my Will and Trust or Can I Do It Myself?

You want your will and trust to stand up to any possible challenges. As such, it is important that they are created in accordance with the laws of the state in which you reside. Illinois estate laws are complex. Creating valid documents requires an in-depth knowledge of the law and its intricacies. Left to your own devices you may make critical errors leaving your documents open to challenges. Our attorneys spend time with you and understand your future plans. We will prepare documents that are both in accordance with your wishes and in alignment with the laws of the State. We will make sure that those you wish to inherit your assets and property do.

What Happens When a Will or Trust is Challenged?

Challenges can cause problems. If your will or trust is successfully contested, your final wishes will not be executed. Some of the reasons your will or trust can be challenged include:

  • Fraud or forgerywhen someone believes you did not create the documents
  • Mental capacity – whether you were of sound mind when drafting the documents
  • Breach of fiduciary duty – when the estate executor acts improperly, for example by stealing or mishandling assets
  • Undue influence – when it is believed that you were coerced to make provisions benefiting certain individuals
  • Execution or interpretation – when documents have not been signed or witnessed properly or the terms and instructions have not been interpreted correctly.

At Wolfe & Stec, we understand these possible pitfalls. By working with our seasoned professionals, you can be assured that your estate documents are sound, incorporate all requisite details and don’t leave anything open to conjecture.

How Do I Protect My Parents’ Estate Planning?

If you believe your parents are vulnerable and someone may take advantage of them, you should determine if they have a durable power of attorney. If they do not, you can go to court to have a guardian appointed to oversee their affairs. If they are deceased and you believe someone held undue influence over them in preparing their estate plans, our Darien estate attorney may be able to challenge the will or trust in court.

Do I Need A Guardian?

Should you become incapacitated and if you do not have a sound durable power of attorney in place, the court may appoint a guardian. This individual would be responsible for managing your finances, healthcare and living arrangements. They would make decisions on your behalf. At Wolf & Stec, we suggest that we create a durable power of attorney on your behalf. This allows you to designate the individual you want to make your decisions.

Our Darien Estate Attorneys Provide Advice and Counsel

Contact Us Today and Put a Plan in Place for Your Future

Make the commitment to plan for your future today. Why wait? The experienced attorneys at Wolf & Stec are ready to help you create your estate plan. We will leverage our extensive knowledge and expertise and ensure that your estate plans are legally sound. Maintaining control over your end-of-life decisions or who inherits your hard-earned assets is important. We can make sure that happens.

Our Darien estate planning attorneys will make sure the intent of your estate planning documents is clearly stated, communicated, and preserved to prevent future challenges or issues. Call Wolfe & Stec today to schedule a free consultation at (630) 305-0222. We strive to protect your family’s future and ensure your wishes are observed.

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 ]

Recent Family Law Results

During trial four experts all testified against our client the Judge found it was in the best interest of the child that our client be awarded custody. We have successfully represented clients in numerous child custody cases.

Child Custody

We recently analyzed a case whereby the opposing side was seeking a substantial award of maintenance against our client. After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances and several hearings, our client’s obligation to pay maintenance was limited to two years at half of what his former spouse was seeking.

Alimony (Maintenance/Support)

After our client voluntarily changed employment we were able to obtain a substantial reduction in child support payments. We have also stopped such reductions when representing clients receiving child support.

Child Support
Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

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

1 North LaSalle Street, Suite 4200
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-388-7882

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