Some people think that estate planning is only necessary if you are wealthy. Others want to avoid thinking about their own mortality. No matter the reason, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), only about 40 percent of Americans have an estate plan.

If you are interested in having your affairs in order long before moving on, it may be important to have several consultations with an experienced attorney. A Naperville estate planning lawyer might be able to clear up any misconceptions that you have and answer your questions.

Estate Planning in Naperville

Estate planning lawyers in Naperville are required to comply with the Illinois Compiled Statutes in drafting documents on behalf of clients. Some common aspects of estate planning may include wills, trusts, and a power of attorney.

A person might also choose to preplan their services and burial, as well as fund the funeral expenses. Moreover, owners of family companies may want to discuss business succession with counsel in Naperville.

Wills in Naperville

A very common form of estate planning is a will. In Naperville, a person older than 18, who has the capacity to understand that they are bequeathing their property, may publish a last will and testament.

The formalities for a will have been codified under 755 ILCS 5/4-3. Per the statute, a valid testamentary instrument must be signed by the will’s author, called the testator. Further, the endorsement of the will must be witnessed by two credible observers. However, if a testator is unable to endorse the document on their own, they may direct someone to sign the paper for them.

It may be important to choose a personal representative to serve as the executor of the will when it is probated. Otherwise, the Naperville courts may need to select one.

Trusts in Naperville

A trust might be an appealing alternative to a will for persons who would like to have a trustee manage the funds that might benefit loved ones. As described in Chapter 760 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, estate planners may choose between a living trust or one that takes effect after death.

Importantly, as the writer of a will is called a testator, the creator of a trust may be referred to as the settlor. The persons who may benefit from the proceeds of the trust are called the beneficiaries.
In lieu of providing funds to loved ones, estate planners may also choose to create a charitable trust. Per the Charitable Trust Act, 760 ILCS 55/1, testators may place all or a portion of their assets into a fund for philanthropic purposes. A capable Naperville estate planning attorney may be well-versed in a variety of trust choices.

Power of Attorney in Naperville

Some Naperville families may forget to plan for possible periods of incapacity. A durable power of attorney, per 755 ILCS 5/2-5, may include language that authorizes a trusted person to act on someone’s behalf, should they become unable to do for themselves.

A durable power of attorney may be useful during an unexpected hospital stay or another emergency. An adept estate planning attorney in Naperville may be knowledgeable about the implications of this type of authorization.

Consult with a Naperville Estate Planning Attorney

If you have been hesitant about beginning your estate planning because of how intimidating it may seem, you might be pleasantly surprised when you talk to an attorney.
A Naperville estate planning lawyer may be able to make the process of bequeathing your assets.