Aurora, IL Wills Attorneys
Skilled Guidance with Wills and Living Wills in Kane County and Northern Illinois
Wills are fundamental estate planning tools used to designate beneficiaries for your assets and ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Without a will, there is no guarantee that your hard-earned assets will go to the correct beneficiaries, or that your minor children will be cared for by the guardian of your choice. If you have financial assets and minor children, it is essential to have a will in place to determine how your final affairs will be handled. You may also want to consider a living will to provide specific instructions on future medical decisions should you become incapacitated.
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we have over 100 years of combined experience helping families with wills, living wills and more advanced estate planning tools. We handle estates of all levels of complexity, providing bold and innovative solutions to ensure that your goals are accomplished and your estate is administered according to your wishes. Our team of skilled attorneys works collaboratively to provide comprehensive solutions that take all relevant factors into account. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and craft the most practical solution to meet those needs.
Reasons to Create a Will
In Illinois, all estates must go through probate, regardless of whether or not you have a will. However, without a will, the probate process is longer, more costly and less predictable. There are several other reasons creating a will is in your best interest, including:
- You decide how the assets in your estate are distributed: If you die without a will, your assets are distributed to your spouse, children, siblings, etc. in accordance with Illinois law. Based on predetermined formulas, the probate court decides who receives which assets. A will gives you the power to decide in advance who will receive these assets. It also gives you the power to disinherit someone who would otherwise inherit a portion of your estate without a will.
- You decide who will administer the final affairs of your estate: The executor of an estate is responsible for ensuring that all final business is taken care of and that the will is administered according to your wishes. The executor should be someone that can be counted on to look after your best interests, and you should be the one to choose this person rather than the court.
- You decide who will be guardian for your minor children: Without a will, the court appoints a guardian for any minor children you may have. Even if you have very few financial assets, a will is still important, because it allows you to decide who will look after your children if you die.
- The chances of legal challenges are minimized: Without a will, family disputes may arise over who receives which assets; potentially leading to costly and protracted estate litigation. With a carefully drafted and legally executed will in place, the chances of such litigation are greatly reduced.
Creating a will also affords you the opportunity to have our attorneys fully assess your estate and ensure that you have all the right tools and strategies in place to maximize your estate value and minimize tax liability. Depending on your circumstances, we may recommend annual gifts to heirs and beneficiaries to reduce your estate value. In addition, if you have a more complex estate with substantial amounts of property and assets, you may be better off setting up one or more trusts and bypassing the probate process entirely.
The Benefits of a Living Will
Living wills are legal documents that provide advanced health care directives for your medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to make these decisions on your own. A living will gives doctors, caregivers and family members specific instructions on which end-of-life treatments you wish to receive and which ones you wish to forego. By providing this directive in advance, you receive the care you want and relieve family members of the burden of making these difficult decisions without your input.
Wills and living wills are important for estates of all sizes because they involve future property, guardianship and health care decisions that could affect anyone. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we use our extensive estate planning experience to ensure that our clients have these and other essential documents properly prepared ahead of time, so you are ready for every eventuality. Contact us today at 630-907-0909 for a personal consultation. From our offices in Aurora, IL, we assist clients with wills and living wills in Naperville, Oswego, St. Charles, Geneva, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, DuPage County, Cook County, Chicago, and surrounding Northern Illinois communities.