estate planning

06 Jan. 22

How to Create an Estate Plan in Alton, IL

These simple steps can be followed by residents of the Alton, IL area to ensure that they have all of the legal documents ready to create their estate plan.  This includes their end-of-life medical treatments as well as the distribution of their belongings and property after they pass.

legal adviceSelect a Health Care Agent

You need to choose a Health Care Agent as the first step. This individual oversees making any medical decisions on behalf of you if you are incapable of making those decisions yourself due to being incapacitated. Medical emergencies can be happy at any moment causing you to become unable to decide what type of treatment you should receive. Therefore, assigning a Health Care Agent is vital. You are also able to rely on any decisions regarding your end-of-life treatment to your specific agent.

Select a Financial Agent

Similar to the Health Care Agent, you can choose a Financial Agent to make any financial decisions in the event that you are unable to make them yourself due to incapacitation. This step ensures that your assets and finances will be managed in the way that you want, by the person you want.

Here are some financial powers that are allowed to be given to your Financial Agent include:

  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Banking Transactions
  • Claims and Litigation
  • Delegation
  • Benefits from Government Programs and Military Service
  • Other Requests Allowed Within the State Made by You

Make a List of Estate Items

After you assign a Health Care and a Financial Agent, you will want to start making a list. This list should contain all of your assets. Creating this list of your entire estate can help determine what gets distributed to whom once you pass.

Determine the Beneficiaries of Your Estate

Once you have created your list of estate assets, you need to decide who the beneficiaries will be. This allows your estate to be distributed in the most efficient manner. You need to decide how you want your property and other assets to be distributed amongst your beneficiaries. This way there is no confusion, and the process is a smooth one.

Living WillCreate a Living Trust or a Last Will and Testament

A Living Will and Testament and a Living Trust are two ways that you can choose to distribute your estate and property. You may choose one or both options to use when administering your assets and belongings. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you to bequeath your property to a list of beneficiaries specified on the document.  Similarly, a Living Trust is when you transfer the ownership of the assets to a Trust which is a separate entity. This allows you to still enjoy your assets until you pass away. Which then the Trust distributes the assets to its beneficiaries.


Store the Estate Plan Documents Safely

After making your estate plan, make sure that you keep all of the documents in a safe and secure place. Also, make sure that you give a copy of the Health Care Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney to those who are listed as the attorneys.

If you have any further questions about estate planning, please contact our team at Diaz Law today!