Actor Chadwick Boseman tragically died after fighting cancer for several years. Boseman died without a will. As a result, his wife was named administrator of his estate, which will be settled according to California’s laws of intestate succession. Illinois intestacy laws determine who will inherit their assets if someone dies in Illinois without a will. When someone dies without a will, their assets are subject to probate — the legal process of administering someone’s estate after death, requiring court intervention to ensure that taxes and debts are paid, and that remaining asset are distributed in accordance with the law.
When someone dies without a will or other legal estate plan, the probate process can be very stressful, expensive and take a lot of time to finalize.
Not every estate is required to go through probate. Proper estate planning can minimize the amount of state and federal taxes that a beneficiary will have to pay after someone dies, reduce attorney fees and cut down the delays inherent in the court system. Wills and estate planning aren’t just for the wealthy – everyone can benefit from estate planning: people with modest estates, married couples, young parents and millennials.
Probate exemption or avoidance planning is estate planning utilizing beneficiary designations or joint account designations to avoid probate. Avoiding probate typically involves using an estate plan that has been designed to pay someone’s final debts and expenses and transfer property per the decedent’s wishes–without having to go to court and open up a probate estate.
Wills and estate plans are important to let your loved ones know your final wishes, and they are also important so that family members know where to find your important financial information and legal documents. By creating an estate plan, can determine how you will be cared for if you become ill and incapacitated, and how your assets will be distributed after your death.
A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you ensure you are protected if you become ill and your assets are distributed how you want. For help setting up a will, trust and other estate planning assistance, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100.