Estate Planning Lawyer Bloomington IL
Many clients reach out to an estate planning lawyer in Bloomington, IL, for help with developing plans that outline the elements of their life when the time comes that they are unable to make decisions on their own. While creating an estate plan can seem overwhelming for some, the process can be pretty straightforward with a law firm like Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. Once the estate plan is executed, there will be a few key steps executors must take. An executor should make sure that they prepare their family by communicating their wishes to them; they also must update their plan accordingly. While the life cycle of the estate plan may seem burdensome, it’s possible to gain peace of mind with a well-developed and updated estate plan with guidance from our firm.
Elements of an Estate Plan
An estate plan encompasses crucial documents that outline a person’s wishes when the time comes that they are unable to make decisions on their own. These documents indicate how the executor would like to be cared for and how their assets will be distributed after their passing. These plans are significant because they ensure that there is no question as to how the executor would like their estate to be managed. These fundamental elements may include:
- The Will
- Beneficiary Designations
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Directives
- Guardianship Designations
- Funeral Arrangements
There are several options that executors have when developing an estate plan. However, it’s important to know that serious issues may arise for all who are involved without one. An estate planning lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois, can help prevent complications by listening to the needs of their clients and clearly outlining their wishes.
Updating the Estate Plan
Once the estate plan is created, it can’t be left to sit and gather dust. Executors must update these documents over time. As circumstances change, the estate plan should reflect these changes. It’s only natural that a person will experience many changes throughout their lifetime. Failure to update the estate plan to reflect these changes can be detrimental, leaving the estate plan so painstakingly created useless. Executors should update an estate plan at least every 3-5 years or when they:
- Accumulate additional wealth
- Give birth or adopt children
- Marry or divorce
- Purchase property
- Change jobs
- Move out of state
Life changes almost always constitute an update of a person’s estate plan. An out-of-date plan can result in severe issues as guardianship designations, and beneficiary allocations may no longer be valid. However, when these are left to sit without updates, the executor risks decisions being made by loved ones that no longer reflect the executor’s wishes.
Communicating the Estate Plan to Family
Once the estate plan has been created, additional legwork must be done. The executor must communicate their wishes to loved ones. While an estate plan will outline critical decisions when a person is no longer able to make decisions on their own, sharing these wishes with family and beneficiaries is one of the most crucial next steps that should be taken. When families are unaware of who will care for children, how assets will be distributed, and how the executor would like to be cared for should they become incapacitated, familial conflict can follow. Families will have their ideas of how their loved ones would have wanted decisions made. Even when there is an estate plan, it can be difficult for them to wrap their heads around the next steps. When these plans are clearly outlined and communicated, an estate plan may mitigate the risk of conflict within the family. When these wishes are discussed ahead of time, loved ones can ask questions and come to terms with the decisions that have been made. As a result, familial conflict and will contests are mitigated, which can take a significant load off of family members who are grieving such a loss.