Attorney Offers Estate Planning Services Throughout Northern Illinois
Establishing a will and periodically updating and reviewing the document are important. A will allows you to name a responsible and suitable executor to manage your estate when you die. Those with minor children should include your choice of a guardian to care for them in your absence. Wills give you the opportunity to specify how your assets will be distributed to your heirs and possible charitable causes you wish to support. When creating and updating a will it is an excellent time to address tax considerations. Clients of The Gierach Law Firm have been benefitting from our wealth of experience in estate planning for over two decades. Residents in the greater Barrington area will enjoy our responsiveness, personal approach, and the convenience of our local office.
A personal representative is one in charge of managing your estate when you die. When you create a will you will make this designation, and that person is called an executor. Those who die without a will, considered dying “intestate,” have an administrator for their estate. Generally, the decedent’s family will nominate an administrator; otherwise the probate court may appoint one. Either way, the personal representative is responsible for fulfilling functions such as notifying heirs, appraisal and sales of property, filing final tax returns, paying off debts, distribution of assets to heirs, and other key functions.
A living will declaration is a statement indicating your wishes that is available to be given directly to a physician if you are rendered unable to communicate them yourself. Another term used to describe a living will is an “advanced medical directive.” These declarations are similar to a healthcare power of attorney, which allows for an individual, or “agent,” of your choice to exercise healthcare related decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The key difference is the living will instructs the doctor directly without 3rd party involvement. They may be executed if no agent(s) named in a power of attorney is available. Some of the issues addressed may include end-of-life medical decisions, treatment specifications in the event of terminal illness, and other options that you wish to permit or prohibit.
A commonly property ownership form is joint tenancy. Generally used by married couples, each joint tenant has a right to use the property; if one spouse were to die, the remaining spouse simply assumes 100% ownership of it. Except in rare situations, the survivor’s ownership is not subject to claims from heirs. This is not to be confused with tenants-in-common, where there is joint ownership; however, the rights of sole ownership for the survivor do not apply.
Payable or Transfer on Death
An asset may be designated as payable on death (POD) meaning that when an individual dies, another designated individual assumes ownership. While the owner is still alive, the recipient does not have rights to the asset or property. Similarly, Illinois has a Transfer on Death Instrument statute established in 2012 that applies to certain forms of real estate.
Have you been procrastinating about establishing your estate plan? The Gierach Law Firm offers customizable estate plan packages tailored to your individual needs. We can provide legal services involving wills, trusts, powers of attorney, estate taxes, Medicaid planning, and more. Our broad understanding of estate, business, and tax law is clearly evident; in fact, our managing partner has practiced law for over 25 years, is a CPA, and holds an MBA. Contact us today at 630-756-1160 for a consultation.