Glen Ellyn Estate Planning Attorney Handles Your Needs

Let Our Glen Ellyn, IL, Estate Attorney Work for You

The thought of planning their estate is stressful to many people, but the Glen Ellyn estate planning attorneys at Wolfe & Stec can do the work for you and take the stress away. While no one wants to consider their own death, the unexpected can happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared. By formulating legally solid estate plans with the help of our skilled attorneys, you can rest easy by ensuring that your wishes are properly carried out, that your family is spared unnecessary expense and delay, and that someone you trust will be in charge if you ever become unable to manage things on your own.

When you call a Glen Ellyn estate attorney from Wolfe & Stec, we will meet with you to discuss your goals and wishes and then prepare your plans accordingly. We will explain the different estate planning documents and draw up necessary documentation based on your needs. We will address all of your estate planning concerns and ensure that your interests and those of your beneficiaries are protected.

We provide a free consultation to discuss your individual situation, so call us today at (630) 305-0222 to get started.

Your Estate Lawyer in Glen Ellyn Prepares All Relevant Documents

Basic Estate Documents All People Should Have

While individual situations vary, the estate planning documents that all Illinois adults need include:

  • a will, that lets you state to whom you wish to leave your assets and name your executor to oversee distribution. A will also lets you nominate the individual or individuals whom you would like the court to appoint as guardian of your children.
  • a durable power of attorney for finances, that names someone you trust to take care of your finances if it becomes necessary.
  • a durable power of attorney for health care, to name someone you trust to make sure your health care wishes are honored if you are in no condition to make them yourself.
  • a living will (called a declaration in Illinois), to spell out your end-of-life wishes, such as whether you wish to be resuscitated.

Depending on your situation, Illinois residents may also want to consider taking measures to avoid probate, a court proceeding which can be expensive and time consuming, such as with a living trust, and we can handle this as well. Taxes may also be an issue, and if your estate exceeds $4 million, you may wish to discuss ways to avoid the Illinois estate tax, imposed on only the wealthiest families.

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.

An estate planning lawyer in Glen Ellyn will examine your circumstances and counsel you on your estate planning matters as well as what documents you need.

An Estate Planning Lawyer in Glen Ellyn Helps Set Up Trusts

A Trust Can Keep Your Estate from Going Through Probate

Depending on your circumstances and goals, it can be beneficial to put property and assets into a trust. A trust is generally an agreement where you (the trustee) hold and manage property for your beneficiaries. Assets that are placed into a trust avoid going through the probate process, so your trust beneficiaries are spared the long and expensive hassle of probate. And, depending on the type of trust, there may be tax and other financial benefits.

If you create a trust under your Will, it’s called a testamentary trust. If you create a trust while you are alive, it’s called a “living” trust. 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.

Your trust agreement names the trustee and the beneficiaries you wish to receive the assets. The agreement defines everyone’s rights and duties, and usually says that you retain power to amend or revoke it whenever you want. A trust is not filed in court, so its provisions are private, unlike a Will, which must be filed in court at death.

Also, if you die without a will, your trust will not be subject to intestate succession, which is when the state decides how a deceased person’s property is distributed. The property in your trust will go directly to the specific beneficiaries you named in it.

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.

An estate planning lawyer in Glen Ellyn can review your needs, advise you whether a trust may benefit you, and set one up if desired. Contact Wolfe & Stec for a free consultation by calling (630) 305-0222.

How Our Glen Ellyn Estate Planning Attorneys Protect Your Interests

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

Unless you have in-depth knowledge of estate law and its intricacies, you leave your will or trust open to challenges if they were drafted without legal help. In situations where you failed to name someone who thinks they should inherit as a beneficiary (such as a child you wish to disinherit), that party may decide to bring litigation to challenge your will. Our attorneys will listen to your wishes, discuss the best way to ensure they are followed, and prepare a will or trust for you that is legally definitive and makes sure your intentions are clearly understood. We’ll make sure that those you want to inherit your assets and property actually do.

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.

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 being unable to let your decisions be known. Call Wolfe & Stec today at (630) 305-0222.

Contact Our Glen Ellyn Estate Attorneys for Experienced Guidance

There is no reason to put off planning for the future when you have the help of a skilled Glen Ellyn, IL, estate planning attorney. We have the extensive experience needed to ensure that your estate plans are legally sound so you can control your end-of-life decisions and who gets your hard-earned assets and property.

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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