You have an estate — but, you may not think about it like that.
After all, how often do you refer to the stuff you own as your “estate?” It sounds like something only very wealthy people have. The truth, however, is that nearly everyone has an estate of some kind — and it needs protection, no matter where you are in life.
What’s going to happen to your estate if something unfortunate happens to you?
Not the most fun question to consider, we know. But this question is vitally important. Estate planning is one of the best things you can do for the people you love, and the team at Gillespie Law Group, LLC can help you do it. We have more than two decades of experience as estate planning attorneys. Our goal is to give you peace and security that the things you can’t take with you when you’re gone will stay in the hands of the people you love most. We’d love to talk with you about this directly. Give us a call at 312-332-6339 today.
As you consider your choice of estate planning attorney in Illinois and how you want to handle this important legal procedure, here are several things we want you to know ahead of time.
What is Estate Planning?
Before we talk about estate planning in Illinois, we need to answer one big question: What is an estate?
Essentially, your estate is made up of the things you own — all of your assets. These are things in your life that you have worked hard to earn and would like to protect. Your home, your car, your mutual funds and retirement account — all of these things are a part of your estate.
Estate planning is the process of ensuring your wealth, assets and hard-earned resources go where you want them to once you pass away. In order to do this, you must determine what your estate involves. An attorney drafts legal documents designating who is to receive what from your estate. But, it also goes beyond the physical objects that you own.
A good estate planning attorney will assist you in planning other important aspects of your estate. This includes things like:
- Who will receive guardianship of your children?
- What is the medical plan, should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions?
- How will life insurance be handled?
This covers the estate planning basics you need to know. But, the process can still be confusing, especially if this is your first time completing these legal documents.
Working with an experienced attorney who plans out your inheritance will avoid confusion and unintended consequences. Clear documentation of your wishes is vital for peace of mind about your estate.
There may be a temptation to “DIY” your estate planning with online estate planning forms. We highly discourage this for your protection. Online forms for estate planning are often vague, which can lead to a stressful probate process to determine how your estate should be distributed.
Why Estate Planning Is Important
You’ve worked hard for what you have, but you can’t take it with you when you’re gone. What you can do instead is leave it to the people you love most, ensuring that your work continues to benefit those closest to you even after you are gone.
Without a clear plan drafted by estate planning attorney, there could be a series of court battles after you pass over where your wealth, property and assets should go. This process is called probate, and we are also ready to provide expert probate litigation services. However, probate can be costly and stressful. We’d rather work with you to stay ahead of any probate litigation.
The best way to avoid this and to maintain control over your resources is to use estate planning services in Illinois and create a plan with an experienced Illinois attorney. At Gillespie Law Group, we have the experience you need.
Estate Planning Goals and Objectives
We all lead unique lives. In turn, what we wish for our estate after our passing is also going to be unique. Getting the most out of estate planning involves thinking seriously about your estate planning goals and objectives.
These are a few of the most common goals we have seen in our decades of service to families working through the Illinois estate planning process:
Passing Estates on to Loved Ones: This is the most obvious goal of estate planning — to make sure that your children and other loved ones are able to reap the rewards of your gifts. You deserve the right to know that your hard-earned assets will stay in the family.
Reducing the Burden on Children after Death: In the wake of passing, children should be given space to mourn and be with each other. This space is intruded on by an un-planned estate, forcing children to forego mourning and dive right into the logistics of how to handle all that was left behind. By planning ahead of time, you make sure that your children don’t have this responsibility.
Lowering Estate Taxes: Estate tax planning is another common objective. When you die, your beneficiaries could be subject to estate taxes, depending on the total value of your assets and other factors. Estate tax planning with the help of our legal team can pass more of your estate on to your children while subjecting less of it to taxation. This is appealing to many and a common goal of estate planning.
Finding an Estate Planning Attorney
Experience, expertise, attention to detail, a thorough grasp of applicable law — these are all things to look for in an estate planning attorney in Illinois. You should also pay attention to the way you feel when speaking with lawyers. Do you feel safe, encouraged and supported? Or do you feel pressured, intimidated and nervous?
Ask specific questions about what an estate planning attorney can do for you. At Gillespie Law Group, we will provide services such as:
- Evaluating your assets
- Creating a detailed account of your estate
- Developing a specific, clear plan for the distribution of your estate
- Protecting your loved ones through guardianship and other necessary means
- Never putting your estate into a pre-formed template — everyone is different, and we create a plan that is as unique as your family
As an estate planning attorney in Chicago, we have helped our clients plan their estates for decades. Not only do we bring our expertise to the table, but also our kind and supportive attitude. Our goal is your peace of mind, and we always deliver.
Contact an Estate Attorney Today
The unexpected can happen anytime, so don’t delay — speak with our Illinois estate planning attorneys as soon as possible. Call us at 312-332-6339.
Reach out today to schedule a free consultation about estate planning. We’ll answer any questions you might have and review your situation to determine the best ways we can work for you.