Estate Planning Services
Hiring an estate planning attorney in Alton, IL helps you take a proactive approach to ensure financial security for your family and loved ones. Estate planning is the process and legal arrangement of how to disperse a person’s estate and assets in the event of their death. In the state of Illinois, if a will isn’t established before death, Illinois law will be used to determine who receives your estate and assets. In the case of children, a judge may decide where they will end up living. With the presence of a will; those decisions are no longer left up to the state of Illinois – but instead, up to you. Anyone can be susceptible to an untimely death – if you have loved ones and family that depend on you financially – it is best to establish an estate plan. Diaz Law Offices can help with:
- Powers of Attorney
- Estate Planning
- Estate Settlement
Why You Need an Estate Plan
The groundwork for your estate plan lies within your last will and testament. This is where you name the beneficiaries of your estate, there could be as many or as little as you would like. If you and your spouse die, and you have minor children, your will can establish a guardian to look after your kids. Your will also names a trustee, which is someone who carries out the wishes of your will.
A will is extremely vital for a proper estate plan; however, it isn’t the only thing needed to protect your family:
- A power of attorney is when a trusted person is appointed to make your decisions in the event that you are injured and unable to communicate. The absence of a power attorney means that your family will have to waste money and time to go through a guardianship proceeding to act for you.
- A health care directive is the process of assigning an agent to make health care decisions including life and death decisions.
- A trust can be used to help protect your beneficiaries from bankruptcy, divorce, and even themselves. You can also establish a special needs trust that provides assets to a disabled family member without affecting their ability to claim government assistance.
Our estate planning attorneys at Diaz Law Offices are well-versed in current laws and regulations regarding estate plans, and how to execute them to best accomplish your goals and preserve your legacy.
Contact an experienced Illinois Estate Planning and Probate Attorney Today
We understand the importance of providing financial security to your family members and loved ones. Estate planning is a great way to pass down your assets and ensure the beneficiaries are who you envision them to be. The best way to do this is to take matters into your own hands. We offer free consultations to help discuss your estate plans. Call us today to schedule a consultation!
Wills, Trusts & Probate
Our probate attorneys at Diaz Law Offices provide legal counseling and guidance on numerous matters relating to trust and estate matters. It is our goal to collaborate effectively with every client to ensure their wishes are met. One of the ways we do this is through drafting wills and trusts and probate services.
A will names a person responsible for the administration process. It enables a person to assume control of the division and distribution of property after death. However, other parts of your estate planning include:
- Power of Attorney for intangible personal property (financial assets)
- Power of Attorney for healthcare (medical decisions)
- Revocable Trust (used to transfer wealth to your appointed heirs and to avoid probate court)
In the state of Illinois, without a valid will, state legislation dictates the distribution of your assets. If you have children, a valid will elects guardians for them otherwise it is left to the state courts to select guardianship.
Trusts are legal agreements whereby an individual assumes the legal title of an asset and manages it to the benefit of a beneficiary chosen by you. If you create a trust, you are known as a “settlor”. This helps control your property and the way its distributed upon death and helps limit control of assets to beneficiaries who may be immature in age, suffering a legal disability, or illness. Diaz Law Office can draw up numerous trust agreements including revocable living trusts, gift trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, special needs trusts, and more. Trusts can help minimize Federal and Illinois Estate taxes, provide asset protection to your beneficiaries, and help avoid probate.
Probate refers to the court-directed process regarding your estate plan. Probate is a public proceeding that is time-consuming, expensive, and stressful for every party involved. With proper estate planning, you can avoid the probate process. However, there may be situations where probate is wanted, especially if a client’s estate is being contested or challenged.