Downers Grove Estate Planning Attorney

Let a Downers Grove Estate Attorney Handle Your Needs

While no one wants to think of their own death, estate planning is an essential part of making sure your loved ones will be provided for when you are no longer here to do so. The Downers Grove estate planning attorneys at Wolfe & Stec can eliminate the stress of estate planning by helping you put legally solid estate plans in place to ensure that your wishes are properly carried out and that your family is protected for the future. In addition, you should have plans as to what you want if you should become incapacitated and not able to communicate what medical treatments you do or do not want.

How Our Downers Grove Estate Attorneys Can Help

  • Explaining the different estate planning documents
  • Preparing plans that are in line with your individual needs, goals, and wishes
  • Drawing up legally solid documentation to prevent challenges
  • Finding ways to minimize taxation for your heirs

You can rely on Wolfe & Stec to knowledgeably 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 your needs, so call us today at (630) 305-0222.

Your Estate Lawyer in Downers Grove Explains Documents You May Need

Basic Estate Documents People Should Have

Estate planning is not just for the rich – even those of modest means benefit from pre-planning to ensure that their 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. This generally means your spouse gets at least half and your children split the remainder. If you have no spouse or children, your estate will be divided among your nearest living relatives; and if you have no living relatives, your property goes to the state.

If this is not what you want, or if you have a situation such as a wish to disinherit a child or a desire to care for a disabled one, you need a will or trust that states your specific wishes and names an executor to 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 states information such as whether you wish to be resuscitated and to what lengths doctors should go 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 in conjunction with one.
  • A durable power of attorney for finances that states who will make your financial decisions if you can no longer do so.

The unexpected can happen at any time, and you do not want to be caught unprepared. Everyone’s financial and family situations are different, so our estate planning lawyers in Downers Grove will examine the individual 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 Downers Grove estate attorneys at (630) 305-0222.

Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Downers Grove Helps You Set Up Trusts

Trusts Can Help Avoid Probate

A trust designates a trustee to hold legal title to property for your beneficiaries.

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. Setting up a living trust avoids the probate process, but you may not need it, depending on your circumstances. For example, if you have no real estate and your estate is valued under $100,000, state statutes allow your heirs to file a small-estate affidavit to claim your estate without probate.

There are two types of trusts to consider:

  • Living trust – This is the most common type of trust. You create it while alive and usually designate yourself as the trustee and keep control over all property held in the trust. When you die, the beneficiaries named in your will inherit the property. You still need a will to provide a backup plan as to who will inherit any property that is not in your trust.
  • Irrevocable trusts — These trusts require giving up ownership and control of trust property and cannot be revoked or changed after they are signed. They are used for specific goals, like reducing taxes and other financial benefits.

Our estate planning lawyers in Downers Grove can review your needs, advise you about how a trust may benefit you, and set up a living trust for you if desired. Call Wolfe & Stec at (630) 305-0222.

Our Downers Grove Estate Planning Attorneys Address Your Questions and Concerns

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

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

Illinois estate laws are complicated, and without in-depth knowledge of the law and its intricacies, you may make mistakes that leave your will or trust open to challenges if they were drafted without legal help. Our attorneys will listen to your wishes and prepare documents that are legally definitive and make sure your intentions are clearly understood. We’ll make sure that those you want to inherit your assets and property actually do.

What If a Will or Trust is Challenged?

If your will or trust is successfully contested, your final wishes will not be carried out. Wills and trusts can be contested on several different grounds, including:

  • Mental capacity – whether you were of sound mind when drafting the documents
  • Fraud or forgery
  • Undue influence – when it is believed that you were coerced to make provisions benefiting certain individuals
  • Breach of fiduciary duty – when the estate executor acts improperly, such as by stealing or mishandling assets
  • 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 work with you to prepare sound estate documents that incorporate all the details and don’t leave anything open to attack.

How Do I Protect My Parents’ Estate Planning?

If you feel someone is taking advantage of your parents and they do not have a durable power of attorney, you can go to court to have a guardian appointed to oversee their affairs. If they are deceased and you think someone held undue influence over them in preparing their estate plans, our Downers Grove estate attorney may be able to challenge the will or trust in court.

When is a Guardian Needed?

A guardian may be court-appointed if you become incapacitated without a sound durable power of attorney in place. Guardians manage and make decisions regarding your finances, healthcare, living arrangements and other things. The durable powers of attorney we prepare designate the trusted individuals you want to make decisions for you.

Get Experienced Guidance from Our Downers Grove Estate Attorneys

There is no reason to put off planning for the future when you have the help of a skilled Downers Grove estate planning attorney. 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 Downers Grove 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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