Schaumburg Estate Planning Attorney
Thinking about illness and the end of your life might feel uncomfortable and even premature, but having your affairs in order can give you peace of mind and ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass on.
Our law office will meet with you to discuss your wishes and determine how to best meet the goals and desires you have for yourself and your property if you were become incapacitated or in the event of your death.
- What is estate planning?
- Why should I prepare my estate before my death?
- What estate planning services does your office provide?
What is estate planning?
If you are alive today, you have what is referred to legally as an “estate.” Your estate can be large, small, or any size in between, and it can be worth anything from several pennies to hundreds of millions of dollars. Your estate is made up of everything you own, including both your tangible physical possessions as well as your bank accounts and investments.
When you are planning for the future, you must decide which people or organizations will receive your assets after death. These beneficiaries are the “who” of estate planning. Once you have an idea in mind of who will receive your belongings, you must also decide when each beneficiary will receive them and how much of each belonging they will receive. Often, assets such as land and family heirlooms are divided equally among multiple recipients.
Estate planning can and should be done by people of all ages. Many choose to put off planning their estate until retirement or old age, but it is wise to plan your estate as soon as you are able. A well-planned estate provides a surety about the future that cannot otherwise be found.
There are many different things to consider when planning your estate. Whether you are wealthy with many assets or have a more modest estate, you still need to decide what will happen to all of your major possessions and funds. It is natural to feel overwhelmed when making such decisions, which is why Schaumburg estate planning attorney Robert M. Kaplan specializes in helping clients get their estates in order.
Why should I prepare my estate before my death?
Leaving your loved ones without the burden of having to guess at your wishes is a loving and responsible way to plan for your own illness and death. Being prepared and having your estate in order before your death can provide comfort to your family. If your loved ones are clear about your wishes and beliefs regarding issues such as life support, burial, etc., before they ever need to act on those wishes, it will bring a sense of peace in what can otherwise be a chaotic time.
While it may feel a bit morbid or dark to dwell on the thought of your own death, estate planning is actually a very practical forethought. Death is an inevitability for all, and choosing to be prepared when that time comes gives you more control and brings greater peace.
When you pass on, it is your loved ones who are left to handle your assets and finances. Whether the timing was expected or not, the loss of a family member is always difficult. Grief naturally follows death, and your loved ones will need time to accept and process their loss. There is no way to take away the sting of death, but there are ways to reduce stress and eliminate confusion.
Having a plan for your assets in the event of your death allows your family to grieve without the burden of guessing or speculating at what your wishes would have been. During what is already a difficult time, you can remove some of the burdens by clearly establishing your desires and providing a legal roadmap for the people in your life. If you have questions about planning your estate in Schaumburg, IL, feel free to call our law office.
What estate planning services does your office provide?
Our knowledgeable Schaumburg estate planning team offers several different services depending on your family’s needs:
- Wills – A will directs the distribution of your property, assets, and wishes. It also provides instructions for the care of your children if you pass away while they are minors. Wills are typically fairly simple to draft and can be completed in the span of a few days. Sometimes, more complicated wills require multiple attorney-client meetings and take several weeks to draft — however, in the big scheme of things, even a will that takes weeks to complete can help save months or years of headaches down the road. The worth of a will far exceeds the time and investment required to create it
- Trusts – Trusts can be used to avoid formal probate proceedings, allowing your property to be transferred outside of the court system. This allows a third party to hold assets for a beneficiary so that the distribution of funds may happen more quickly than through probate court. Our Schaumburg, IL office can help you set up a trust account today
- Powers of attorney – Naming a power of attorney allows you to direct who will speak on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. This applies to both financial and healthcare decisions. Having a power of attorney ensures that you have someone to represent you when you cannot. Powers of attorney must be signed and witnessed while all parties are still considered competent and sound of mind
- Living wills – A living will provides medical instructions in the event that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. Living wills can include details such as the amount of medical care you approve to maintain your life, decisions about resuscitation, and your wishes regarding life support
- HIPAA releases – HIPAA releases allow you to dictate who will be able to obtain information regarding your medical condition, treatment, and progress. Within a HIPAA release, you can allow third parties such as your attorney, spouse, or children to obtain your medical information with your permission. HIPAA releases can also be used after death by surviving family members to order medical records in the event of a wrongful death investigation or lawsuit
- Guardianships – One of the most important decisions you can make is who will care for your minor children in the event of your death. Guardianship is the process of establishing who will act as guardian of your children or disabled adults when you are no longer there to care for them.
By establishing your wishes legally, you can help your family avoid conflict during an emotional time. In many cases, proper planning eliminates the need for your loved ones to make difficult decisions without your valuable input. To take advantage of one or several of our estate planning services, visit the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C. in Schaumburg today.
Call Our Schaumburg Law Firm Today for a Consultation
Are you looking for an attorney who can expertly handle your estate planning details? Contact our Schaumburg, IL law office to schedule a consultation with Robert Kaplan, PC, today and take the first steps to peace of mind.