DeKalb Elder Law

DeKalb Elder Law

DeKalb Elder Law Attorney – Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 for Free Consultation

As we grow older, it is only natural to consider later-in-life issues such as creating a will to ensure your wishes are carried out. Below we offer some helpful answers to FAQs about wills and related matters that a DeKalb Elder Law Attorney can help you with:

Do I need a Lawyer to Create My Will?

As long as a will satisfies the legal requirements to be valid, you’re not legally required to have a lawyer create it. Working with an experienced DeKalb Elder Law Attorney, however, is advisable. Legal advice helps prevent confusion that can cause disputes and even litigation among family members after your death. Additionally, your lawyer can offer valuable counsel about your will and whether it is the best way to distribute your estate. A DeKalb Elder Law Attorney can explain other planning strategies like powers of attorney, revocable living trusts and living wills.

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What is Involved in Updating or Revoking a Will in the State of Illinois?

Drafting a supporting document known as a codicil is one way of updating a will. A codicil describes which parts of the will to alter. If you want to change many parts of a will, it can make sense to draft a totally new one. Doing so serves to revoke the prior will.

There are multiple ways of revoking a will in Illinois, such as simply destroying the original will and all copies. Or, it is possible to execute a new will that revokes the previous version.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 for Free Consultation

Will My Estate Avoid Probate If I Have a Will?

Probate is frequently necessary to provide a deceased person’s relatives the legal ability to collect their assets and distribute them to the rightful beneficiaries. Avoiding a probate process is among the main advantages of having a sound estate plan. Probate can be expensive, it can cause lengthy delays in the distribution of assets and it can be quite stressful for your relatives. Merely having a will does not guarantee your estate will avoid probate. However, it can be avoided with the use of a revocable living trust as the main vehicle for your estate planning rather than a will.

Do I Need a Will If I Have a Trust?

In some cases, if you utilize a revocable living trust as your main document for estate planning a will is not necessary. Similar to a will, a trust provides for the distribution of assets after you pass away. It also names an individual to manage the process. A revocable living trust, however, won’t permit you to name a guardian for your minor children. Because of this factor, a DeKalb Elder Law Attorney will typically recommend that people who have minor children should draft a will as an addition to a trust.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 for Free Consultation

Even for those who do not have minor children, a will along with a trust can be appropriate. It serves as a sort of safety device in the event you make an error in transferring resources to your trust.

In the event you own real estate or possess over $100,000 in other assets external to your trust upon your death, probate still might be necessary. In these situations, all of a trust’s assets still avoid probate. But assets the trust does not own will undergo the probate process.

To learn more about this consult with a DeKalb Elder Law Attorney at 847-628-8311

What is a Trust?

Trusts are a legal document and form of entity that is able to own properties separate from the person who creates it. The person who creates a trust is known as a “grantor”. After the grantor drafts and executes the trust, he or she can transfer ownership of properties into the trust. This is what makes a trust a distinct legal entity similar in some ways to a corporation.

What Are Trusts Used For?

Trusts ensure that the deceased person’s assets distribute according to their wishes. Also, a trust directs how to manage its for the benefit of the deceased’s loved ones. Trusts can also:

-Ensure that an expensive, lengthy probate case is not necessary to distribute your assets once you pass away.

-Ensure a costly and emotionally trying guardianship case is not necessary in the event you become mentally incapacitated or incompetent.

-Help to limit estate taxes and shield assets against creditors.

-Permit individuals who have a disability to earn income and gather assets without risking government benefits.

-Protect assets against the costs of long-range care.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 for Free Consultation

How Do Trusts Function?

In this form of legal document, the grantor declares an individual or an entity to serve as an initial trustee. In addition, it names individuals as the trust’s beneficiaries. A trustee is responsible for the management and disbursement of the trust’s property to the beneficiaries.

A grantor can name herself or himself as a beneficiary as well as an initial trustee. In these cases, the grantor’s sole obligation as a trustee is to handle the trust’s assets for their own benefit.

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The grantor, however, can also utilize a trust document to name additional trustees. They can act in the event the currently acting trustee becomes unwilling or unable. The trust documentation can also declare specific contingency beneficiaries who would receive the benefits from the trust under particular circumstances like the death of the initial beneficiaries.

What Are the Key Differences Among an Irrevocable Trust and a Revocable Trust

A revocable living trust functions similar to a will in that it provides for the timely distribution of assets when the grantor passes away. But unlike a will, moving your assets into a revocable living trust can verify that your estate will not enter probate when you pass away. Learn more about probate by calling our firm and speaking with a DeKalb Elder Law Attorney who can answer your questions.

A grantor can revoke or change a revocable living trust at any point. This is why the grantor usually has control over the trust’s assets during the course of their lifespan. The grantor will often not notice the differences between owning assets via a revocable living trust and owning assets in their own name.

The asset distribution and probate avoidance benefits of this form of trust take effect when the grantor passes away.

Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 847-628-8311 for Free Consultation

An irrevocable trust, in contrast, cannot be revoked or altered by a grantor after it has been executed. After an asset has been transferred into a revocable living trust, the grantor gives up some rights with respect to the assets. In some cases, the trust’s terms provide that a grantor keeps the right to own an asset during their lifespan but they are not allowed to dispose it.

Since an irrevocable trust causes the grantor to relinquish some property rights relating to the assets in the trust, irrevocable trusts help grantors to minimize estate taxes and safeguard assets against creditors.

Consult with an experienced DeKalb Elder Law Attorney at 847-628-8311.