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Estate Planning 101: What Should You Include?

If you think you need the assistance of estate attorneys, there are a few things that should be included in your estate plan. Read on to learn more about this topic.

Estate attorneys know how important estate planning can be, but many people don't understand why having this sort of plan is actually necessary. If you're getting ready to meet with a lawyer to discuss your assets, here are a few things that should be included in your plan. While your needs may vary depending on your situation, a will, living will and a trust for minor children are common aspects of planning for your assets and care.

Don't Forget Your Will

This is probably one of the most important parts of your plan. Having one can help ensure that your loved ones know what's going to happen with your belongings once you pass, especially your home, your retirement accounts and any other assets that you leave behind. Without a will, there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to dividing up your assets and this can help ensure that the division goes as smoothly as possible after you're gone.

Include A Living Will

While a regular will goes into effect once you've passed away, a living one is designed to work while you're still alive. It provides your loved ones with clear guidance on how you want specific medical conditions handled if you're unable to speak for yourself. This includes what you want to happen if you're unable to breathe unassisted or if you require a feeding tube. Having a living will alleviates some of your family's stress when it comes to making medical decisions.

Establish A Trust For Minor Children

If your children are still minors, estate attorneys should recommend that you set up a trust for them. Minors are too young to receive life insurance benefits or the proceeds of a retirement account directly, which is where a trust is necessary. A trust appoints someone to act as the trustee, that is, the person responsible for managing the funds. Make sure to appoint someone that you have faith in to ensure that the funds aren't mismanaged. It's not uncommon for the funds to be held in trust until the beneficiary reaches 21 or even 25. This helps reduce the chance that an immature 18 year old gets a hold of a large sum of money and uses it irresponsibly.

Other Services From Estate Attorneys

These three aren't the only services that an attorney can help with. They can also help with funeral preplanning, as well as show you how to legally protect your assets from being overtaxed by the government. Many estate attorneys also specialize in elder law and can help adult children protect their elderly parents through guardianship if the parents become unable to properly care for themselves.

If you think you need the services of an attorney, contact friends and relatives to ask for a professional recommendation. Estate attorneys handle extremely sensitive information and help their clients through some of the most painful times in their livesBusiness Management Articles, which means it's important to find one that you can develop a relationship with.

Article Tags: Estate Planning, Estate Attorneys

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Peck Bloom is the premier firm of estate attorneys in Chicago. The firm's attorneys are known as some of the most experienced elder lawyers in Illinois. To speak with a live chat representative, visit the firm's website.

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