A Will (more formally called a Last Will and Testament) is a fundamental component of estate planning. Wills can be the center piece of an estate plan or the safety net, depending on the plan. Wills provide control over the handling of the administration of the Probate assets, who will handle them, who will receive those assets and how they will receive them.
Without a Will, the Illinois Probate Act determines those things and imposes burdens that can avoided by having a Will.
A Will is the most fundamental of all estate planning tools. Even more complicated estates that have trusts and other mechanisms include a Will. Understanding what a Will does (and does not do) and why a Will is an important as a component of an estate plan is fundamental.
If you retain us to do your estate planning, we will explain the probate process and the importance of a Will to you, and all of the options that you have available to you to make your estate planning accomplish your goals and minimize your concerns.
A Will says, “I care about my loved ones who survive me.” A Will provides structure and order in the place of chaos and uncertainty. A Will ensures that our loved ones who we wish to benefit receive those benefits, and not others. A Will carries out our loving desires and charitable intentions. A Will allows us to put the right people in charge who will handle the estate responsibly, deal fairly with everyone we wish to benefit and carry out our wishes. A Will can streamline the administration of the Probate estate, avoiding unnecessary costs and minimize the delay in completing the Probate process.
Wills have been around for centuries and are likely to be around for centuries more. Wills are part of the basic legal fabric of modern, civilized society that allows for the accumulation of wealth and assets (what we call an “Estate”) and for the control of that wealth and those assets. Wills allow us to extend that control and to extend who we are as people beyond our own lives.
The only benefit we have of the wealth and the assets we leave behind is the ability to direct them to the people we love and care for, to leave them a legacy of our care and to make their lives a little easier by our thoughtful planning. Just as we have taken care in the accumulation of those assets during life, we can take care in the way we leave our wealth and assets behind for the benefit of others.
If you have not done your estate planning or are concerned that the estate planning you have done is obsolete or not adequate, for whatever reason, we would love to help you. We do estate planning for a flat fee so you know exactly what the cost will be at the start, depending on the type of estate planning that you choose. Please contact us for a Fee Chart and other documentation to get you started, including an Estate Planning Worksheet. You will need to specify “individual” or “couple”.