Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law
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Do you think an estate plan is unnecessary?

Though you may want to avoid thinking about your life eventually coming to an end, it happens to everyone. The manner in which it happens varies from person to person, and for some people it occurs unexpectedly while others may learn that they do not have much time left. Because either of these scenarios could happen to you, you may want to consider how you would like to leave your affairs.

Estate planning could allow you to closely examine the personal and financial aspects of your life and how you would like those areas handled after your demise. You may think that your family will know what to do on their own, and as a result, you may believe such planning to be unnecessary. However, without a plan, Illinois state laws could come into play, and your family could face complications when it comes to closing your estate.

Dying intestate

If you do not create a will or any other type of estate planning document, you will have died intestate. This situation means that state law would dictate who receives your property rather than having your assets distributed by your personal wishes or the wishes of your family. Your estate would need to go through the probate process, and if more than one individual desires a certain asset, conflict could arise.

Creating a will

Rather than leaving your property distribution up to chance, you may want to consider creating a will. This document allows you to name your beneficiaries and indicate who should receive what property. By making your wishes known, you may help your surviving family avoid unnecessary conflicts. However, your will still must go through the probate process in order for the court to validate its authenticity.

Additionally, a will allows you to put someone in charge of your remaining affairs. By naming an executor, an individual you trust will handle the duties associated with closing your estate. If you do not appoint a person to this position, the court will choose a personal representative.

Exploring your options

Once you begin understanding the benefits of estate planning, you may wish to get started as soon as possible. By planning ahead of time, you could give yourself the opportunity to explore the various tools that could help you create the estate plan that best suits your needs and the needs of your surviving family. While a will can act as a vital planning tool, you may also wish to include other documents as well.

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Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law