Having a last will is crucial to ensuring your wishes for your estate are upheld in the event of incapacitation or death. Without a will, the state will oversee how your estate is distributed, which will usually follow a set formula that could see assets placed in the hands of those least desirable. Contact an estate planning attorney who can help cut through the complexities of creating a Will and have you better understand how best to ensure your wishes are followed.
Deciding the Fate of Your Estate
Those who die without a will in place are considered “intestate.” According to Illinois intestate laws, The probate court will decide what to do about your estate. Chances are likely that Illinois laws will not align with your personal wishes for all of your property and assets. To prevent this outcome, you can become a “testator,” the terminology used for the person who creates a will. Drafting a will, will allow you to decide the fate of your possessions and allow your family and friends to know what to expect as well.
A clearly drafted will can alleviate the complications of probate and help minimize unnecessary delays in the process. Probate is the legal term for establishing the validity of a will. A properly drafted will can settle contested disputes over property and other assets made by family members, friends, business partners, and other parties of interest.
You Choose Your Representative
A personal representative will be responsible for administering your estate distribution in the event of incapacitation or death. This individual can be a person of your choosing, and they will be responsible for various duties, including:
- Paying off debts
- Notifying business establishments of your incapacitation or death
- Canceling credit cards and accounts
- Distributing your assets according to your wishes
You can choose the representative and place them in your will to handle things on your behalf. A testator will often select a family member to assume the role of personal representative, but it is up to you who you decide.
Keep Specific Parties Away From Your Estate
Drafting a will places the decision to prohibit certain individuals from gaining access to your assets by placing them in the hands of those you choose. These individuals must be included in your will in case Illinois intestacy laws prohibit them from receiving the assets you choose to leave behind. You can also choose to disinherit heirs from your estate. Ensure all instructions are clear and concise to avoid complications and confusion that could see disputes arise between interested parties at the time of your death.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Estate Planning Attorney
An experienced Wheaton, IL estate planning lawyer is a great Ace to have up your sleeve if you feel overwhelmed or confused by the process of drafting a will. Should you choose to update your will at a later time, a solid attorney from the [[title]] can assist with the modifications to ensure everything is clear and concise without the worry of causing unnecessary confusion. Please contact our firm at [[phone]] for a free consultation on how we can help with your estate planning.