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What You Must Know About Wills

The north suburban Chicago will and trust attorney of Sylvester Law Firm has prepared hundreds of Will-based estate plans. This page explains the importance of having a Will.

Do I need a Will? If you are over the age of 18, and you have property that you want to leave to someone in particular, you need a Will. Regardless of the size of your estate, it is critical that you have at least a simple Will. By executing a valid Will, you will have control over who gets your property and in what proportions, who will manage your affairs as executor, and who will serve as the Guardian of your minor children, if any.

What happens if I die without a Will? Without a Will, state law determines how your assets will be distributed. The government's default plan for you could conflict with your wishes to benefit your parents, brothers, sisters and/or grandchildren. That plan could also conflict with your wishes to donate to a charity or provide for your partner or friend. Additionally, without a Will, you lose control over who is responsible for managing your estate; the Court will appoint an "administrator." Finally, without a Will, it is more costly to administer your estate; that's because state law requires that your administrator purchase a surety bond, which is paid out of assets of the estate. A Will typically waives the surety bond, thereby saving money.

Is probate avoided with a will? No. A Will guarantees probate. Probate can only be avoided through the use of a Living Trust. The Wilmette, Glenview and Northbrook estate lawyer of Sylvester Law Firm believes that taking the necessary steps to keep your family out of the court system is a worthwhile cause.

Besides a Will, what else do I need? When you establish your Will, it is important to also execute a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Health Care. You also might want to sign a Living Will. Finally, if you want your estate to bypass the probate process, you should execute a Trust at the same time you execute your Will.

During your initial consultation, we will advise you of your estate planning alternatives – in light of your particular circumstances. If you decide that a custom Will-based plan is best for your planning goals, you will be provided all of the following documents and services for a guaranteed flat-rate fee:

  1. Will
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Property
  3. Power of Attorney for Health Care
  4. Living Will
  5. Necessary Consultations and Attorney Letters
  6. Meeting to Review First Drafts
  7. One Revision of First Drafts
  8. Signing Ceremony
  9. Estate Organizer
  10. Advice Respecting Beneficiary Designation Forms
  11. Clear Instructions for Wrapping-up the Planning Process

Whether you need to create a Will or update an existing one, the process is easy with the Wilmette estate planning lawyer of Sylvester Law Firm. With the guarantee of flat-rate fees for estate planning services, Sylvester Law Firm removes the guesswork and anxiety associated with hourly-based legal fees.

When you come in for your initial consultation, the Firm’s North Shore of Chicago estate planning and probate lawyer will determine what is truly best for you. The Chicago will and trust attorney will take the time to get to know you and your situation, explain your options, and help you develop a plan that suits your needs.

The Wilmette, Glenview and Northbrook estate lawyer of Sylvester Law Firm uses experience in private law practice, trust banking, and as a Judicial Law Clerk to help clients in northern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin and throughout Florida. Call us today at (847) 251-2999 to begin the process of protecting what you have and planning for the future.

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