Estate Planning Attorney Arlington Heights

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Estate Planning Attorney Arlington Heights

Most aspects of estate planning are not a matter of “set it and forget it.” No matter how elegant your original estate plan is, it will need some updates as life goes on. You are doing everyone in your family a great service if you write a will and take some other key estate planning actions while you are in the workforce and your children are minors. When your children grow up and you retire, you will still need to revise your estate plan, but your task will be easier than it would be if you were starting from scratch. Any major change to your health, family, or finances necessitates updating your estate plan. For example, if you are newly married, separated, divorced, widowed, or retired, your estate plan will probably need some adjustments. At Andrea Heckman Law, our Arlington Heights estate planning lawyer can help individuals and families build and revise estate plans.

Estate Planning Basics

The cliché about how estate planning is about planning for life and not just about planning for death really is true. Deciding who will inherit your assets after you die is only a small part of estate planning.  These are some issues that you should address in your estate plan:

  • Whether you want your remains to be buried or cremated and where their final resting place should be
  • Who should represent your estate in probate
  • Paying for your long-term care if you suffer ill health
  • Whether you want to age in place or move to an assisted living facility or nursing home if and when you can no longer live independently
  • Who can make financial decisions on your behalf if you become seriously ill
  • Who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you become too ill to decide for yourself

Estate planning lawyers help clients find the most cost-effective ways to achieve their goals. This can include buying long-term care insurance or hybrid life insurance, as well as keeping assets out of probate through revocable trusts or by designating payable on death beneficiaries.

How Your Family Status Affects Your Estate Plan

Illinois law allows you to leave property to anyone you choose and to disinherit almost anyone. Surviving spouses have rights during probate that no other family members have. Divorce automatically changes some aspects of your estate plan but not others. Procrastinating working on your estate plan after divorce is a common problem, but it can cause your family a lot of stress. Meanwhile, estate law treats couples whose divorce cases are pending exactly the same as it treats blissful newlyweds. Therefore, if you are going through a divorce, you should update your estate plan so that, if you die before the divorce becomes final, your estranged spouse does not swoop down into probate court to claim a share of your estate as if you had never separated.

Contact Andrea Heckman Law About Estate Planning

An estate planning lawyer can help you revise your estate plan to reflect recent changes to your family situation. Contact Andrea Heckman Law in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to discuss your questions about your estate plan.

Contact our office to arrange for a free initial consultation and review of your case.


Andrea Heckman

Managing Attorney

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