A will is the most basic estate planning document available for Illinois residents. Unfortunately, it is not something that all adults have in place for when it is needed. When a loved one dies and does not have a will or other estate planning documents prepared, how will probate work?
Ask many Illinois residents about their estate planning efforts, and the answer is likely to be a laugh and a shrug. Many people are under the impression that unless they have a massive base of wealth, they have no need for estate planning and probate. That approach, however, is flawed, and fails to consider the many benefits of having a comprehensive estate plan.
Following the death of a loved one, family members may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the departed has left them a significant inheritance. For those in Illinois who are struggling financially, any asset gained has the potential to change the direction of their lives. However, one family in another state learned that without legal guidance, estate planning and probate may have unintended results.
Many Illinois residents may feel overwhelmed when they think about preparing estate plans. It is understandable, as there is a lot involved in doing so. For example, which estate planning documents does one actually need? There are so many to choose from, and depending on one's current situation and future goals only a select few may actually be required.
One of the main reasons to create an effective estate plan is to make sure that spouses and children are taken care of. However, it is still important to have an estate plan if you do not have a spouse or children. In fact, some would argue that is is even more important in this case.