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Orland Park will and trust attorney

In life, it can be a good idea to plan ahead, since no one knows what the future holds. Estate planning is the process of arranging in advance for the management and disposal of your estate both while you are alive and after your death. Estate planning is crucial for your future as well as your family’s well-being. Wills and trusts are two of the most common legal documents that are created in the estate planning process. Both handle finances and assets, but they do so in different ways. Many families seek legal assistance to create one, if not both, of these estate planning tools to have peace of mind in regards to their future.

What Does a Will Do?

A will details what will happen to you and your assets after your death. It will state how you want your affairs handled and how your property should be distributed to your heirs. While many young adults and parents do not take the time to consider their own death, addressing these issues can ensure that your wishes are followed correctly. If you have minor children, you should take the time to appoint guardians to ensure that they will be taken care of by people you know and trust. If this is not decided before death, children may be placed into the hands of a family member who you would not want to care for their children. 

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Oak Forest estate planning attorney

While a will documents your wishes for what will happen with your belongings after your death, a living trust allows you to determine how to handle your assets both while you are alive and after you have passed. In your trust, you may be called the “grantor,” “settlor,” or “trustor,” and you will be able to designate who will get your possessions. These people are called your “beneficiaries.” You will also name someone as your “trustee,” which means that he or she will be the one to ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly.

You may be your own trustee, or you can name a survivor trustee who will take control of the trust after your death. You may also set yourself up as a beneficiary of the trust while you are living, and you can add others as beneficiaries, including a spouse, children, or a friend. A living trust can be changed as you feel necessary at any time, or you may cancel it altogether. The trust will be empty until it is funded, which means that until you have transferred your assets to the trust, it will not go into effect.

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8 Ways an Estate Plan Can Protect Your Family’s Financial Future

Oak Forest estate planning lawyer family financesNearly half of Americans do not have a will, and even less than that have an estate plan. It is not hard to see why, since nobody wants to think about what will happen when they die. However, it is important to plan for your family’s financial future. Almost everyone can benefit from having a will, but if you are not sure if you need an estate plan, here are some things to consider:

1. Children

If you have a child, it is important to decide what will happen to them in the event that you and your spouse die. In a will, you can name a guardian to take care of your child, but you should also state what assets the child might inherit and who is to take care of those assets until the child is old enough to gain access to them.

If you need something more extensive than a will, a trust might be the best option. A trust allows another person to hold assets on behalf of the person receiving them, and it can minimize estate taxes.

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