Located in Cook County, Chicago has a large population of almost 3 million people. Only New York City and Los Angeles are bigger. Finding a top Chicago estate planning attorney can seem daunting especially if you consider the larger Chicago metropolitan area, where the population is over 9 million. With so many people living in “Chicagoland,” narrowing down your search for an experienced knowledgeable estate planning attorney is important. You may wonder “Does it really make a difference who you hire?”
Finding the right Chicago estate planning attorney is actually one of the more significant decisions that you’ll make in your lifetime, whether you live in Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, or Elgin. Learning about what an estate plan is and things you should include can make all the difference in managing your affairs after you pass away, if you fall ill, or have an accident. An estate plan is more than just a last will and testament. If you want to protect your family and ensure that they have what they need to thrive, it is imperative that you find the right lawyer to help you plan in advance.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
If you have children that are still minors, the most important decision you’ll make for them is who will take care of them in the event mom and dad pass away. Naming the right guardian to raise them is your choice while you are alive. If you do not designate someone, the court will decide who will get the children.
For the most part, conservatorship involves the appointment of an individual who manages the financial affairs of an incapacitated person, generally a person unable to handle his/her financial affairs. Creating documents if needed for guardianship and conservatorship is best with the help of a Chicago estate planning attorney, like James C. Provenza. Planning for the care of your children or special someone is very important.
Have you considered what you want to happen in the event that you become medically incapacitated? What medical treatments do you want or what lifesaving measures are acceptable? By having a healthcare directive, you can make your wishes known to loved ones. This way, the focus is on your care and not the burden of perhaps family members arguing over what you might want.
Power of Attorney (POA)
An estate plan includes the power of attorney documents. You’ll also want to decide who will serve as your agent in the event that you are injured and unable to communicate or become mentally incapacitated and cannot make clear decisions. You will want to choose someone for your representative with the power of attorney, that is trustworthy and able to help with financial matters. For example, if you were in a car accident and you are temporarily in a coma, your representative with POA can make sure your mortgage or rent is paid or can file your taxes.
Will and Trusts
No matter what your financial situation is, having a will that designates what happens with your financial and material assets matters. Wills and trusts are usually part of a plan and have different benefits. You can use your will to distribute your personal assets to the people you want to have them. This means that a family heirloom stays in the family and goes to the person you specify. If you have specific preferences for final wishes or funeral arrangements, you can have this detailed in your last will and testament. A trust allows you to set aside certain assets so they go immediately to your designee instead of having to wait for assets to go through probate.
You can also opt to give a gift to loved ones or to non-profit organizations through your personal estate. There are some personal assets that potentially you may want to gift to a charity or nonprofit such as a car or maybe a piece of property. With proper gift planning, you could choose to give gifts to non-profit organizations or to family members.
There are many different gift planning options available to individuals. This includes charitable trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and minor’s trusts. Which ones are the right options for your family will depend on your estate and needs. You can discuss the specifics of your plans with a Chicago estate planning attorney.
Contact Chicago Estate Planning Attorney James C. Provenza
Planning ahead for your passing or planning for an emergency illness or accident are reasons why you should set up your estate plan, including wills and trusts, power of attorneys, and healthcare directives. A good estate planning attorney like James Provenza will walk you through the various parts of an estate plan. Contact James C. Provenza & Associates, P.C. at (847) 729-3939 or by filling out our online form. We are ready to help you get started or update a plan. Serving clients in Chicago and the greater Chicago area, estate planning attorney James Provenza is well versed in comprehensive estate plans.