Legal matters surrounding your estate can be complicated. Being aware of five common mistakes that occur during the estate planning process can help you ensure that your estate is managed according to your wishes.
It is vital to carefully consider the person named durable power of attorney or medical power of attorney. If you choose someone who is untrustworthy or unqualified for the responsibility, your wishes might not be honored.
Additionally, it’s important to avoid naming your estate as the individual retirement account (IRA) beneficiary. If this mistake is made, your estate could be subject to numerous legal procedures. Only after the probate process, which could take years, will your heirs possibly receive funds from your estate.
When there is a shift in the family it is important to update IRA beneficiary information. For example, if you go through a divorce, it is critical that you un-name your ex-spouse as the IRA beneficiary and name someone else.
To help your family in the event that you become ill or incapacitated, it is crucial to sign a healthcare directive, also known as a “living will.” Your living will is meant to give your family insight into your preferences should you require emergency health procedures such as CPR or life support.
Lastly, be sure to add funds to the trust that you leave for your heirs. This is an all too common mistake that can leave many family members without the assets that you wanted them to have.
The legal matters around estate planning can seem confusing and overwhelming to people unfamiliar with the processes. If you live in the Chicago area, the attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC, can answer your questions about estate planning. Call our offices today at (855) 328-5787 to speak with a member of our legal team.
As we age, we discover legal needs that we didn’t have when we were younger. The older we are, the more likely we have assets to protect, family and heirs to provide for, and our own futures to be planned out. With so many areas needing attention, consulting with elder lawyers in Illinois is a crucial step in preparing for the future. Elder law lawyers in Illinois have the specific education, expertise and experience to help you navigate the often confusing and always complex landscape of state and federal elder law. Following some simple tips can help you choose qualified Illinois probate attorneys, elder law specialists and trust and estate law experts who can answer your questions and grant you relief from your legal or financial concerns.
Illinois Probate Attorneys – Choosing Someone Who Understands You
Be sure to find an Illinois probate attorney who is familiar with all aspects of estate law and is experienced with avoiding Illinois probate conflicts. Some probate attorneys are focused on representing disgruntled heirs who are filing suit against an estate rather than the process of preparing an estate for probate. Planning ahead by establishing a proper estate plan to avoid probate battles requires an attorney who is focused on helping you and your heirs.
Illinois probate attorneys are also knowledgeable in other aspects of elder law (the various legal issues surrounding growing older). Elder law lawyers work regularly with elderly clients, guiding them through preparation of wills, establishing a solid financial plan for the future, and seeing that their assets are protected in the event they become incapacitated. Elder law attorneys in Illinois have handled a variety of elder law issues, including abuse of the elderly, administering estates, end-of-life issues, guardianships and health care decisions.
Successful Elder Law Lawyers in Illinois – Look at Their Record
Good elder law lawyers will have a history of successful resolutions for their clients. Be sure your Illinois probate attorneys are well versed in all aspects of elder law so that you can rely on them for other issues. You’ll be more comfortable and have a better rapport with your attorneys if you don’t have to switch horses mid-stream.
Chicago Elder law lawyers and Illinois probate attorneys will often belong to professional organizations relating to elder law and probate issues. Awards or recognition from bar associations, other Illinois attorneys, and advocacy groups are all indications of legal excellence. Check out the websites of any elder law lawyers in Illinois you are considering hiring. You should find an explanation of their professional affiliations as well as an outline of the areas in which they specialize.
Looking at the History of Elder Law Lawyers in Illinois
One of the better indications of the quality and experience of potential probate attorneys or elder law attorneys is their track record. While not all probate attorneys or elder law lawyers will list their clientele on their firm’s website, they may indicate some specific cases where they were asked to represent parties such as the state of Illinois, a city government, or an organization.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations when choosing elder law lawyers in Illinois is whether they make you feel comfortable and communicate with you effectively. Although the qualifications of Illinois probate attorneys are important, their personalities are also crucial. Find someone who gives you the feeling that they truly care about you, your heirs, and your future. If they really understand you and are ready to fight for your rights, you’ve found the best elder law lawyers in Illinois for you.