Orland Park Estate Planning Law Firm

Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives

There are countless legal strategies involved in estate planning. Many of our clients are concerned with securing their legacy on their own terms. In the absence of legal planning otherwise, estates are distributed after death according to Illinois’s laws of intestacy. Of course, this may not be the plan you would have chosen. Our Orland Park estate planning attorneys promise to deliver you a properly drafted estate plan, replacing the terms of the State with your own.

Estate Planning 101:

Last Will and Testament

This is just one part of an estate plan. If a person dies without a Will, state laws determine how and to whom the person’s assets are distributed. Some things you should know about Wills:

  • A Will has no legal authority until after death. It does not help manage a person’s affairs when they are incapacitated, whether by illness or injury.
  • A Will does not help an estate avoid probate. A Will is a legal document submitted to the probate court. It is basically an “admission ticket” to probate.
  • A Will is especially useful to parents, nominating the guardians of minor children if they are orphaned. Left to chance, you could be setting up a family battle royal, and your children could end up with inappropriate guardians.

Trusts

Trusts come in many “flavors.” Our Orland Park estate planning attorneys deliver every type of trust,  simple or complex, and serve a variety of legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary.

Depending on the situation, there may be many advantages to establishing a trust, including avoiding probate court. Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages both for the trust-maker and the beneficiary, and others may be used to protect property from creditors. A well drafted trust will prove to be advantageous beyond the trust-maker’s death.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person the legal right to do certain things for you. What those powers are depends on the terms of the document. A power of attorney may be very broad or very limited and specific. All powers of attorney terminate upon the death of the maker, or may terminate when the maker becomes unable to make or communicate decisions, depending on the type of designation.

Health Care Documents 

An advance directive is a document that specifies the type of medical and personal care you would want should you lose the ability to make and communicate your own decisions. Our Orland Park estate planning attorneys recommend that everyone over the age of 18 execute an advance directive, noting that this document is legally binding in Illinois. Similarly, a document that goes hand-in-hand with your advance directive is an authorization to your medical providers to allow specified individuals to access your medical information. Without this authorization, your doctor may refuse to communicate with your hand-picked decision maker.

Related Blogs:

Planning by Life Stages

As you can see, there are many documents and strategies involved in the estate planning process. Explore planning options by your stage in life to find which service area may be the best fit for you. 

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Estate Planning for Singles

If you are single, then you are in good company. According to the most recent U.S. Census, more than half of all adult Americans are single, too. Whether you just turned 18 or are 118 one thing you share with your married counterparts is the need for essential estate planning.

Even if you do not have two dimes to rub together, you are your estate. Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

If you are single, then you are in good company. According to the most recent U.S. Census, more than half of all adult Americans are single, too. Whether you just turned 18 or are 118 one thing you share with your married counterparts is the need for essential estate planning.

Even if you do not have two dimes to rub together, you are your estate. Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

If you are single, then you are in good company. According to the most recent U.S. Census, more than half of all adult Americans are single, too. Whether you just turned 18 or are 118 one thing you share with your married counterparts is the need for essential estate planning.

Even if you do not have two dimes to rub together, you are your estate. Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

Planning for Married Couples

With each marriage come new rights and new responsibilities. If you already have an estate plan created when you were single, then you must bring your estate plan up-to-code to reflect your wedding vows.

Unfortunately, many married couples mistakenly believe that they can make personal, health care and financial decisions for one another should either spouse become legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness. Nothing could be further from reality!

With each marriage come new rights and new responsibilities. If you already have an estate plan created when you were single, then you must bring your estate plan up-to-code to reflect your wedding vows.

Unfortunately, many married couples mistakenly believe that they can make personal, health care and financial decisions for one another should either spouse become legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness. Nothing could be further from reality!

With each marriage come new rights and new responsibilities. If you already have an estate plan created when you were single, then you must bring your estate plan up-to-code to reflect your wedding vows.

Unfortunately, many married couples mistakenly believe that they can make personal, health care and financial decisions for one another should either spouse become legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness. Nothing could be further from reality!

Planning for Minor Children

Are you the parent of minor children? If yes, then they are your most valuable treasure. So, what arrangements have you made for their care should something happen to you and their other parent?

As with your own personal, health care and financial decisions, would you rather select the guardians (i.e., back-up parents) yourself, or let a probate judge make the selection without your input? Only through proper legal planning can you select the guardians.

There are two critical choices commonly faced by parents of minor children. First, who will take care of my minor children, if orphaned, and, second, who will manage their inheritance?

Are you the parent of minor children? If yes, then they are your most valuable treasure. So, what arrangements have you made for their care should something happen to you and their other parent?

As with your own personal, health care and financial decisions, would you rather select the guardians (i.e., back-up parents) yourself, or let a probate judge make the selection without your input? Only through proper legal planning can you select the guardians.

There are two critical choices commonly faced by parents of minor children. First, who will take care of my minor children, if orphaned, and, second, who will manage their inheritance?

Are you the parent of minor children? If yes, then they are your most valuable treasure. So, what arrangements have you made for their care should something happen to you and their other parent?

As with your own personal, health care and financial decisions, would you rather select the guardians (i.e., back-up parents) yourself, or let a probate judge make the selection without your input? Only through proper legal planning can you select the guardians.

There are two critical choices commonly faced by parents of minor children. First, who will take care of my minor children, if orphaned, and, second, who will manage their inheritance?

Planning for Blended Families

Times have changed. In the new millennium, whether due to the death of a spouse or through divorce, blended families now outnumber traditional nuclear families. And the number is likely to grow, based on current statistics and trends.

Many blended families face unique social, psychological and economic challenges. As a result, over 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Fortunately, there are numerous organizations and support groups dedicated to helping blended families with these challenges.

Times have changed. In the new millennium, whether due to the death of a spouse or through divorce, blended families now outnumber traditional nuclear families. And the number is likely to grow, based on current statistics and trends.

Many blended families face unique social, psychological and economic challenges. As a result, over 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Fortunately, there are numerous organizations and support groups dedicated to helping blended families with these challenges.

Times have changed. In the new millennium, whether due to the death of a spouse or through divorce, blended families now outnumber traditional nuclear families. And the number is likely to grow, based on current statistics and trends.

Many blended families face unique social, psychological and economic challenges. As a result, over 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Fortunately, there are numerous organizations and support groups dedicated to helping blended families with these challenges.

Planning for Peak Earning Years

Are you between age 40 and 55? If yes, then congratulations. Research has shown that you are in your peak earning years. And that is a very good thing.

Chances are good that you have some expensive life events going on right now, unlike when you were among the Married Couples without children. Do you have children who are college-bound or already there? Do you have a wedding scheduled (or one or more down the road)? Perhaps you are beginning to help aging parents with personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Are you between age 40 and 55? If yes, then congratulations. Research has shown that you are in your peak earning years. And that is a very good thing.

Chances are good that you have some expensive life events going on right now, unlike when you were among the Married Couples without children. Do you have children who are college-bound or already there? Do you have a wedding scheduled (or one or more down the road)? Perhaps you are beginning to help aging parents with personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Are you between age 40 and 55? If yes, then congratulations. Research has shown that you are in your peak earning years. And that is a very good thing.

Chances are good that you have some expensive life events going on right now, unlike when you were among the Married Couples without children. Do you have children who are college-bound or already there? Do you have a wedding scheduled (or one or more down the road)? Perhaps you are beginning to help aging parents with personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Planning When Near Retirement

Just a moment ago you were in the thick of your busy, busy Peak Earning Years. Now, you can see a new adventure is rapidly approaching your front windshield. What is it?

Retirement.

Are you getting ready?

Chances are good that your children have left the nest. Perhaps you are assisting your aging parents with their personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Just a moment ago you were in the thick of your busy, busy Peak Earning Years. Now, you can see a new adventure is rapidly approaching your front windshield. What is it?

Retirement.

Are you getting ready?

Chances are good that your children have left the nest. Perhaps you are assisting your aging parents with their personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Just a moment ago you were in the thick of your busy, busy Peak Earning Years. Now, you can see a new adventure is rapidly approaching your front windshield. What is it?

Retirement.

Are you getting ready?

Chances are good that your children have left the nest. Perhaps you are assisting your aging parents with their personal, health care and financial responsibilities.

Planning When Divorced or Single Again
Planning for Retirement

You have arrived. Just a moment ago you were Nearing Retirement. When did you get to this place in life so quickly? Yikes, what do you need to do right now in preparation for that day?

Retirement.

Congratulations!

This is often an exciting, yet bittersweet time of life.

You have arrived. Just a moment ago you were Nearing Retirement. When did you get to this place in life so quickly? Yikes, what do you need to do right now in preparation for that day?

Retirement.

Congratulations!

This is often an exciting, yet bittersweet time of life.

You have arrived. Just a moment ago you were Nearing Retirement. When did you get to this place in life so quickly? Yikes, what do you need to do right now in preparation for that day?

Retirement.

Congratulations!

This is often an exciting, yet bittersweet time of life.

Estate Planning for Retirement
Planning When Divorced or Single Again

Whether due to divorce or death, you are now Single Again.

You may have children and even grandchildren. In any event, you need to create (or revisit) your estate plan.

Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Now that you are single again, who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

Whether due to divorce or death, you are now Single Again.

You may have children and even grandchildren. In any event, you need to create (or revisit) your estate plan.

Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Now that you are single again, who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

Whether due to divorce or death, you are now Single Again.

You may have children and even grandchildren. In any event, you need to create (or revisit) your estate plan.

Did you know the law requires every adult American to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Now that you are single again, who would make your basic decisions if you are legally incapacitated due to a serious injury or illness?

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