October Is National Estate Planning Awareness Month – What You Need To Know In 2023

  • Estate Planning
October is national estate planning awareness month | estate and probate legal group

October means the pumpkins, fall leaves, and estate planning. Yes, they do go together because October is National Estate Planning Awareness Month. Each October is the perfect time to bring awareness to the importance of estate planning.

What Does Estate Planning Mean?

Estate planning isn’t only for the rich and famous. In fact, having an estate plan in place is important for people of any age or income status. Unfortunately, according to the American Bar Association, approximately 64% of adults in America do not have a Last Will and Testament or a Trust. And of the people with an estate plan, inflation is causing them to re-evaluate their plans. Care.com’s 2023 Wills Survey finds that 1 in 4 Americans see a greater need for an estate plan.

An estate plan is a preparation for how to care for yourself in your older years, your final wishes regarding your medical care and what should happen to your belongings after you have passed away. Some basic documents of an estate plan include:

  • Last Will and Testament
    • This lists your assets and who you want to leave them to. In your will, you also name a guardian for your minor children.
  • Trust
    • Instead of a Will, many people opt for a trust to pass along their assets and give instructions on how to do so. A trust can be established while you are alive to help fund assisted living or other arrangements.
  • Power of Attorney
    • Whether temporary or permanent, if you become incapacitated, you want to authorize someone to take care of your finances. A power of attorney names that person.
  • Healthcare Directive
    • This informs your doctors and family how you want your medical and end-of-life care handled. This healthcare directive can tell the level of life support you want and if there is any medical care you do not want to happen.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you set up an estate plan that is right for your situation. And since October is National Estate Planning Awareness Month, now is the time to get started.

Getting Started During National Estate Planning Awareness Month

Many find that getting started is the hardest step of estate planning. It’s the unknown that feels overwhelming. But don’t worry; an estate planning attorney can easily walk you through each step. An attorney will listen to your unique situation and help you establish the best estate plan for you and your loved ones.

There is some work you can do before you meet with your attorney. Gathering documents and information will help move the first meeting along. Bring with you:

  • List your goals for your money after you pass away. Do you have a disabled child to care for? Then, a Special Needs Trust may be right for you.
  • If you have minor children, start thinking about who you would like to name as their guardian.
  • Make a list of your assets, including banks and investments.
  • Decide who you want to have control of your finances if something happens to you.

You do not need to have all of this figured out right away. These are some options to think about before you meet with the attorney.

Oak Brook County Estate Planning Attorney

Let October be the month you start your estate plan. An estate planning attorney can guide you in all steps of setting one up. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Oak Brook, Illinois, at 630-864-5835.

Areas we serve: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.