Bloomington Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate Planning Lawyer Bloomington, IL
What are the Basics of Estate Planning?
Estate planning is typically not a favorite topic of conversation but working with an experienced estate planning lawyer Bloomington, IL relies on from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols will help make the process of planning your estate easier to get through. If you have not started your estate planning yet, or need to make changes, don’t hesitate to call our law office today to schedule a consultation.
Table Of Contents
- There Are Many Strategies For Planning An Estate
- Why Estate Planning Is Critical
- Your Checklist For Estate Planning
- Bloomington Estate Planning Statistics
- New Parents? New Estate Plan!
- Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, Bloomington Estate Planning Lawyer
Your Income and Value of Assets Does Not Matter
Many people think that an estate plan is just for the wealthy, and that is simply not true. Whatever your income and assets, you should have some type of will, trust, or other plan in place and legal in the unlikely event of your untimely demise. Even if you think you don’t have enough to warrant some kind of estate plan, your family will be better off if you prepare things for the future.
There Are More Reasons than Death and Money to have a Legal Plan Ready and in Writing
Your Bloomington estate planning lawyer can explain all of the potential situations that you can plan for now so that things are figured out when you are not able to take care of them yourself anymore. For example, if you are in a coma would you want to be kept alive for as long as possible or be taken off of machines to let nature take its course? It is helpful for family to know your wishes, and writing them down will make it clear and help minimize fighting among your family.
Waiting and avoiding planning a will or estate plan is a mistake many people make. We always think there’s plenty of time, but none of us know what could happen tomorrow. It is wise to get your affairs planned out for any of the circumstances that you and your family could face in the future. Because of this, it is recommended that you get this taken care of sooner rather than later so that you can rest easy knowing the future is prepared for whatever may come your way.
There are Many Strategies for Planning an Estate
Estate planning can be confusing, and many people do not know the advantages and disadvantages of things like wills, trusts, etc. Depending on your assets and situation, there are different strategies your lawyer may suggest and can explain the pros and cons of each so that you can make educated decisions that you feel comfortable with and confident in.
Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
A Bloomington estate planning lawyer can guide you through the details of your personalized estate plan and help you be prepared for whatever the future may hold. Having a professional and experienced lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols working for you will bring peace of mind knowing that the future of your family is more secure in the event that you are not there to support them. Call us today to schedule your confidential consultation to begin the process of preparing for your, and your family’s, future.
Estate Planning Lawyer
Getting started with an estate plan is not an easy task, no matter how big your estate is. Between the many legal documents to gather and financial information to obtain, there are several tasks that you may need assistance with. Fortunately, a lawyer has the skill set and knowledge to provide you the support that you need. Whether you need guidance for the framework of your plan, or need advice for more specific topics, a lawyer will be able to provide their assistance for you.
Why Estate Planning Is Critical
Building an estate plan is a critical part of planning and preparing for your future, whether you have a family to pass down assets to or not, as a trusted estate planning lawyer Bloomington IL residents depend on knows well. You need to ensure a way to protect your wealth and other assets. There are several legal services that an estate planning lawyer can give you. Because there are so many complex laws that impact estate planning, it is important to get the professional opinion of a skilled lawyer who specializes in estate laws. You do not want to end up deciding to make a plan at a time when it will be difficult to set one up. It is better to work on crafting a plan while you are in good health. Some of the things that a lawyer can help you with include:
- Explaining your rights
- Explaining estate planning laws
- Helping you decide how to structure your plan
- Reducing the amount of estate taxes you may need to pay
- Choosing what to put into your estate plan
- Making changes to your current estate plan
- Answering questions and addressing concerns
Planning For Your Future
Another important reason to consider making estate planning goals is to ensure that your wishes regarding how your healthcare will be administered in your senior years are acknowledged. If you become incapacited suddenly and have no estate plan that includes a description of what kind of care you wish to receive in your old age, it will make it difficult to hand down your assets to your beneficiaries. Your loved ones will have a difficult time trying to figure out what kind of medical care you wish to receive if you do not explain it in your estate plan.
Regardless of whether or not you have a large amount of wealth or income, you can make an estate plan, as a Bloomington estate planning lawyer can tell you. An estate plan is recommended because it allows you to lay down exactly how you want to protect your estate, make decisions about your elder care, and streamline the process for your loved ones to obtain any assets you pass down to them.
Your Checklist For Estate Planning
As you prepare to move forward with estate planning, you are likely wondering what the first basic steps are. Are there things that you can do before you meet with a lawyer so that you are as prepared as possible? Absolutely. It is important that you gather as much information as you can as estate planning can be a highly detailed process.
- Know what your family needs. The purpose of estate planning is so you know your property and assets are getting to where they need to go. Estate planning is an opportune time to re-visit what your individual family members need and what the needs are of your family as a whole. You will want to make sure you have a guardian for any minor children, ensure you document how you would like your children to be raised, and talk with your lawyer about what your life insurance needs would be.
- Inventory everything. This can seem like a tedious process–that’s because it is. When you are working on your estate plan you want to know that you have not left anything out. You want to account for things like your stocks and bonds, collections, personal possessions, land that you own, cars or other motor vehicles you have, and your bank accounts. Your lawyer will go over an exhaustive list to make sure nothing is left out.
- Make a list of beneficiaries. Look into your life insurance and retirement plans. There are certain times when beneficiaries on these documents can outweigh who you have on your will, so make sure they line up. You want to know that the right people are getting the items and intangible things you want them to have. Make sure you have things written out precisely as you want them to be.
- Make your directives. Another form of estate planning is a directive. This could be a medical care directive or a durable financial power of attorney. You want to make sure you have someone in place you can trust if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions regarding your health or your finances.
- Understand that things may change. When you are preparing to create your estate plan, consider that things may change in the future. Your kids may grow up, you may re-marry, and you may inherit new land. Whatever the situation is, it is important to remain flexible and understand that things may change in an instant. Be prepared to meet with your lawyer again to discuss any changes and re-work parts of your estate plan.
Creating an estate plan can be difficult, especially without the help of a lawyer. Your lawyer can ensure you are not forgetting even the smallest of details and can help to protect you, your assets, and your family when you create an estate plan. For more information on what steps to take next, reach out to our office for help. Our team is ready to get you started on protecting your future.
Legal Advice is Available
Get started on making your estate planning early. It is never too early to make a plan and start thinking about how to protect your estate. You will not regret doing so and with the help of a skilled estate planning lawyer, you can get through the process more efficiently. They can answer all of your questions regarding estate planning laws and procedures. Obtain more information by reaching out to a skilled Bloomington estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.
Bloomington Estate Planning Statistics
According to a 2022 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, 67% of Americans do not have an estate plan. This means that over 160 million adults in the US do not have a will, trust, or other estate planning documents.
New Parents? New Estate Plan!
A Bloomington, IL estate planning lawyer understands that when most people think of estate planning, they are under the impression that only older people or very rich people attend to these matters. What they don’t realize is that every adult should have an estate plan in place, even young adults, in order to address issues such as what should happen to what you own in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. This is especially true for new parents. You now have a baby to take care of, but it is important to have legal plans in place to make sure your child is taken care of – according to your wishes – should something happen to you. The following are some questions that many new parents have when they come to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols
Why should new parents create a will and/or other estate planning instruments?
Wills are an essential part of anyone’s estate plan, no matter what your age, but wills are particularly important for parents of minor children because a will is where you name the person you want to be the legal guardian of your child. This is the person who you want to raise and care for your child if you are no longer here to do so. If you have not legally named a guardian, then the courts will do it and the result may not be the person you would have chosen.
What else should I include in my will?
In addition to naming a guardian, you also will want to choose someone to be the executor of your estate. This will be the person responsible for filing the will with the probate court, paying all debts of the estate, and distributing assets and property to beneficiaries that you have named in the will.
What about trusts? Are these important in an estate plan?
Your will is the place where you name your child’s guardian and it is also a good place to specify who you want to receive personal items, such as jewelry, household items, and even digital assets. When it comes to financial assets, especially those set aside to care for your child, establishing a trust may be more beneficial. Typically, the items that are put in a trust are protected from the probate process, including protection from someone contesting who the beneficiary is.
Beneficiaries also have immediate access to funds upon your death, unlike assets bequeathed in a will, which must go through the probate process first.
A Bloomington estate planning lawyer can help you determine what type of trust is best for your situation, advise on choosing a trustee, and help create any stipulations you want in the oversight of the trust, including how and when funds in the trust should be dispersed and what type of expenses they can cover.
What other types of assets should be addressed in my estate plan?
In addition to designating beneficiaries for trusts and wills, it is also important to designate beneficiaries for other types of assets you may have, such as savings accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. You will want to update these accounts when your baby is born. Many of these accounts often have a primary beneficiary and secondary beneficiary, allowing you to name your spouse as the primary, but your child as the secondary in the event your spouse is no longer alive at the time of your death.
Do I need an attorney to create an estate plan?
There is nothing that legally requires you to have a Bloomington estate planning lawyer create your estate plan, however, Illinois estate laws can be complex and any errors could seriously jeopardize how you want your estate dispersed, including your choice of guardian and executor. To ensure you have a legally solid-clad estate plan in place that will provide for your baby when you are no longer here, call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols today.
Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, Bloomington Estate Planning Lawyer
121 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701