While many people think estate planning is something for wealthy individuals, it’s actually a critical process that everyone should undertake. An estate is simply all your assets, including property, investments, life insurance, personal possessions and even checking and savings accounts. An estate plan is a guide for how you want to handle your assets and property after your death or incapacity, and it can save your loved ones a lot of time, expense and grief when it comes to dividing up your belongings.
A good estate planning attorney in Chicago will review your wishes, goals and assets and explain the options available to you. They will also help you make choices about the right executor for your estate and any trusts that may be required. They will assist you with the preparation of a living will and power of attorney, as well as other advance directives, such as a health care proxy and durable power of attorney. They will also provide advice about preserving your estate and avoiding probate.
Probate is the legal process of distributing an estate’s property, and it can be expensive, slow and stressful for loved ones. It can also open up your private information to anyone, including creditors, which is not ideal if you’re looking to keep your affairs as private as possible. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you avoid the need for probate altogether, and they can also help you minimize the amount of taxes your family will owe.
When you’re choosing an estate planning lawyer, look for someone who is experienced and has a solid track record. You should also consider whether they have experience in handling situations that are similar to yours and how much their services will cost. If you’re unsure which attorney to hire, consider getting an initial consultation with several of them to compare their abilities and costs.
During the initial meeting, your estate planning attorney will explore your wishes & goals and review your current assets. Then they will develop a plan that best fits your situation. They will draft the documents and prepare a fee estimate for your approval. After the documents are drafted, they will be signed and notarized by you and any other witnesses that your state requires.
In addition to estate planning, Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law provides a wide range of legal services to individuals and couples, such as family law cases, criminal defense hearings, immigration hearings, real estate conflicts and intellectual property matters. The firm is located in Chicago and serves clients throughout the state.