An estate planning attorney can help you set up a trust and a will that ensures your assets will be passed on according to your wishes. A good estate planner can also help you avoid complications that may arise from a lack of planning. It’s important to find an attorney who puts you at ease, especially since they’ll be helping you make personal and private decisions. A good attorney will welcome your questions and give answers that you fully understand, not use legalese you can’t translate.
An attorney who specializes in estate planning will have extensive experience and knowledge of the law in your state, which is vital since laws and probate processes vary by location. The best way to find an estate lawyer is through a referral from someone you trust, such as family or friends. Your employer’s benefits team might also have access to a network of attorneys who specialize in different areas, including estate planning.
You can also check the local or state bar association to see if an attorney has been licensed to practice law in your area. You might also want to look for an attorney with specific certifications, such as a certified trust and estate practitioner or chartered trust and estate advisor.
A good Chicago estate planning attorney will be able to guide you through the process of creating a living trust, will, and power of attorney documents. They’ll help you prevent your assets from going to probate court and help you avoid excess taxes. They can also help you address unique issues such as second marriages, blended families, business ownership, charity bequests, IRAs and 401(k)s, and real estate holdings in multiple states or countries.
Your attorney will also prepare advanced directives, which are a written document that specifies your preferences for end-of-life care in case you become incapacitated or unable to speak on your own behalf. These documents—also called living wills and instructions directives—let your agent know what treatment you want or don’t want, appointing them to make medical decision-making decisions for you in the event of an emergency.
An attorney can also assist you with other estate-related documents such as a health care power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for finances. This document gives your agent authority to make financial and legal decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation or death.
Everyone should work with an estate planning attorney to develop a plan that addresses their needs and those of their loved ones. While some people attempt to create their own documents through free apps and templates, this could cause complications for loved ones when it comes time to implement the plans. An experienced estate attorney will create a comprehensive and well-written estate plan to meet your specific needs and those of your family. Then you can rest assured that your estate will be cared for the way you want it to be and that your loved ones won’t have to deal with any confusion or disputes after your death.