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Using Estate Planning to Benefit Loved Ones and Charitable Causes

Posted on in Estate Planning

Elgin Estate Planning LawyerThinking about your plans for the assets in your estate should be a source of happiness – a reward for the hard work you’ve done and a testament to the family, friends, and other loved ones that fill your life with meaning. Strangely, even counter-intuitively, we all too often shy away from the subject of estate planning instead of embracing it and discovering the sense of security and happiness it can bring.  

Estate planning, when done properly, is something to be excited about. A legally valid will or trust is a means of ensuring that your assets and other resources flow to the individuals and institutions you wish to benefit when the time comes. Such legal instruments, then, are powerfully good things. 

At the same time, importantly, in the absence of a legally valid will or trust, the rules of intestate succession – the law’s “default rules” – will apply when it is time for the assets of your estate to be distributed. In this scenario, your estate may flow to family, relatives, or even the state – a distribution outcome that might be displeasing, to say the least, depending on both the relationships you value and the ones that you do not. As such, it is imperative that you take estate planning seriously and utilize the legal instruments necessary to ensure that the right people and organizations receive everything that you intend for them to receive.

Illinois Law Requires Compliance With Legal Formalities to Execute a Valid Will

In Illinois, as in every other state, the creation of a valid, legally binding will requires compliance with certain important formalities. In other words, it is risky, even reckless, to assume that you can create a will whenever and however you want. It is insufficient to merely speak your wishes to a loved one. Setting them down in the written word is absolutely essential. 

Of equal importance is the issue of capacity – being of sound mind so as to understand and truly intend the distribution of your assets. In addition, if you possess many assets and intend for multiple people or charitable organizations to receive them, careful planning and writing will be necessary – especially if, in addition to a will, you intend to utilize trusts to distribute assets periodically over time and under certain conditions. 

Planning Your Estate in Kane County

If you are ready to discuss your will, trust, or other estate planning resources, the attorneys at Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel P.C. can work with you to ensure your wishes are carried out correctly. Contact an experienced St. Charles estate planning attorney at 847-695-2400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=5300000&SeqEnd=6800000

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Kane County Bar Association DeKalb Bar Association
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