When it comes to estate planning, many people choose to take matters into their own hands, rather than working with an experienced estate planning attorney. One reason for this may be the misconception that any estate document can be readily found online, with easy fill-in-the-blank formats. Another common occurrence is that people forgo estate planning altogether, believing that it is not necessary or that they are not wealthy enough to warrant any in-depth planning.
Unfortunately, this leads to many people not being properly prepared while they are living, or leaving loved ones in a tricky situation after they pass. Whatever your age or income level, it is so important to have certain estate documents prepared properly by a professional. Working with an experienced estate attorney can provide the following important advantages:
Important Estate Documents are Customized
It’s true that you can find just about anything online, including wills, powers of attorney and more. But DIY forms are just not appropriate for something as important as estate documents. These standard forms are meant to be widely universal and therefore do not take into account your personal needs. When you work with one of our estate planning attorneys, they will make sure your plan takes into account your individual needs and concerns, based on your age, your plans for your assets now and in the future, your family structure and your wishes for after you pass.
In matters of wills and estate distribution, documents that are not legally compliant can cause so much extra time, expense and frustration to loved ones that are trying to settle an estate. If a document such as a will has not been prepared or executed properly, it can leave the door open for people to contest it, causing delays in the distribution of assets to heirs, and possibly preventing a person’s final wishes to be carried out as they had intended. Working with an experienced attorney who is well-versed in the appropriate laws will bring you peace of mind that your estate will be in order when the time comes.
Estate Documents Change as your Life Changes
As previously mentioned, standard DIY forms are made to generally accommodate everyone (which actually makes them not very good for anyone). Each person is different. And even individual estate plans will change over time as life circumstances change. As you go through the stages of life, such as moving out on your own, marriage, starting a family, starting or selling a business, retiring and planning for the end, your estate plan should be modified to meet each new demand. Your attorney can help guide you through these changes and make practical recommendations based on their experience.
Expert Legal Advice when Making Decisions
Estate planning decisions are not always straightforward. In fact, these decisions can be rather complex at times based on your individual needs. The wrong decision can have unintended consequences so it is always best to work with an attorney who has solid experience in this area of law. The attorneys at Churchill, Quinn, Hamilton & Van Donselaar, Ltd will perform a thorough review of your assets, your goals and your intentions for your beneficiaries and will develop an estate plan based on your individual circumstances. Contact our Grayslake office at 847-223-1500 for information and to schedule a consultation.