National Estate Planning Awareness Week is October 19-25, 2020. This is a time to plan for your family’s future and to secure your legacy. Over half of Americans – 56% – do not have an up-to-date estate plan! A meeting with a Probate, Trust, & Estates Attorney can help you feel prepared for the unknown, knowing that you have a plan in place. Though it may be tempting to put off, having a plan can help prevent serious issues down the road.
Once you have your estate plan in place, you may not need to worry about it again unless you have major changes in your life and decide to make changes or want to review your options. Having a plan can give you peace of mind that you can enjoy now and for days to come.
1. How Often Should I Have An Attorney Review My Estate Plan?
Your estate plans should be reviewed whenever there’s a milestone event in your life, such as a marriage, birth, divorce or other big change in your life. As a general rule, if you’re over the age of 60 and you can’t remember when you last reviewed and updated your estate plan, it’s time to review your documents with your attorney. As a guideline, if your estate plan is older than your car, you need to review it.
2. How Old Should I Be When I Create An Estate Plan?
If you have children under 18, have a job, are married or own property such as a car or home, you have assets and legal responsibilities. Even if you’re young, single and just starting your career you likely have an insurance policy at work and some assets you care about. You may have a mortgage, car loan and perhaps student loans. And if you have a child or are married, your children and spouse will require money for their education, housing and care. If you become incapacitated or die at a young age, you need to designate who will care for your minor children, and how your assets will be distributed.
3. I Don’t Have Many Assets, Why Do I Need An Estate Plan?
If you don’t own a home or have many assets, many people think their children can simply divide up their property after they die. If you die without a will in Illinois, the distribution of your assets is done according to state intestacy laws – meaning the court decides who inherits your assets. According to a 2019 survey, the biggest threat to estate planning is family conflict. You can protect your family members from future arguments over your estate by talking to your family in an open and honest conversation about your plans and creating a will or trust with an estate planning lawyer who will help create a legal plan that follows your wishes.
National Estate Planning Awareness Week is an important reminder to review your estate plan to secure your family’s future and to protect your legacy. Every family situation is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning that will adequately serve the needs of everyone. Instead, it is important to take the time to understand specific goals and then craft solutions designed to accomplish those goals.
If you want to protect your loved ones after you are gone, an experienced estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago or Lombard, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100.
We serve Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties.