Estate planning is one of the most important legal processes an individual can complete if they want to ensure their family’s financial security after their death. While you can easily find many free tools and software programs that can help the average person develop a basic will, this document should only be a portion of a complete estate plan. It is crucial to understand the benefits of working with a Joliet, IL estate planning attorney so you can make more informed decisions about your own estate plan.
You might think your assets and property are straightforward enough that you do not need to worry about legal representation as you develop your estate plan. However, to ensure legal enforceability of the estate planning documents you develop, it is vital to work with an experienced and trustworthy Joliet, IL estate planning lawyer. At Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, our team is committed to our clients’ success.
We understand how critical a proper estate plan is for your family after your death. Our goal is to help you develop an estate plan that limits uncertainty and ensures a smooth transfer of your property ownership rights to your loved ones after your death. Our team knows how to uncover the financial documents and other materials you need to craft a legally enforceable estate plan that will protect your family’s interests after your death.
It’s a common misconception that a will is enough to qualify as a complete estate plan. While it is possible to create a very detailed and legally enforceable will, this document is only one of several that should comprise a complete estate plan:
These four documents together can create a comprehensive and legally enforceable estate plan so long as you work with a reliable Joliet, IL estate planning attorney as you create them. If you do not create a viable estate plan or neglect to create an estate plan at all, your family will need to endure the lengthy, tedious, and stressful probate process.
The probate process is the legal transfer of ownership rights after a person dies when the deceased does not have an estate plan in place. Probate is notoriously challenging for grieving families as the judge overseeing the probate process must carefully inspect each and every detail of the proceedings. If the deceased has no estate plans in place, their loved ones may disagree with the court’s decisions concerning property distribution. For example, suppose the deceased promised something to one relative but the probate court awards it to another person. In that case, this can easily lead to a serious dispute among the family members.
It is generally best to ensure your family can avoid probate as much as possible after your death. Not only is the process incredibly stressful and prone to creating disputes, but it is also expensive in terms of the legal fees required for representation throughout the process. Developing a comprehensive and legally enforceable estate plan is the best method for helping your family accomplish this, saving them a significant amount of time and money while also allowing them to mourn more peacefully.
While you can certainly take time to develop basic estate planning documents on your own time, it is crucial to have an experienced Joliet, IL estate planning attorney review your plans. They can help you ensure they are legally enforceable. Any inconsistencies can cause your estate plan to break down, ultimately leading to your beneficiaries enduring the probate process at some level. For example, if you have an older investment account or bank account with a previous spouse listed as a beneficiary, call our firm. It’s vital to change this and ensure it reflects the beneficiary designations of your estate plan. If you do not, your previous spouse would have a valid legal claim to the account.
The team at Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC believes in client-focused, comprehensive, and compassionate legal representation. We understand how important a reliable and legally enforceable estate plan is to you and your family, and we will work closely with you to develop an estate plan that accurately reflects your wishes and preferences for distributing your assets after your death. It is never too early to start working on your own estate plan, so contact Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC today and schedule a consultation with our team for reliable and trustworthy legal counsel you can trust for your estate planning needs.