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Preparing Your Estate for Unexpected Health Crises

 Posted on April 15, 2024 in Estate Planning

Libertyville estate planning lawyerOne of the most beneficial things you can do for your estate is to make sure it is ready for any unforeseen health emergency. Proactive estate planning ensures that your preferences are honored and your family is supported in challenging times. An Illinois lawyer can help you with the essential components of estate planning and offer guidance on preparing for unforeseen events.

Make Your Wishes Known to Your Advance Directives

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is creating advance directives. Illinois has two main types of advance directives: a healthcare power of attorney and a living will. A healthcare power of attorney allows you to choose someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself. On the other hand, a living will specifies your preferences for end-of-life care, such as whether you want to be kept on life support.

To create an advance directive in Illinois, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. The document requires your signature and the witnessing of two adults who are neither your healthcare providers nor related to you by blood or marriage. Once you have created an advance directive, provide copies to your healthcare provider, designated agent, and family members.

Choose a Trustworthy Power of Attorney

Make sure to consider establishing a power of attorney for property. This legal document enables you to designate an individual to handle your financial matters should you become incapacitated. Illinois has two types of power of attorney for property: a statutory short form and a customized form.

The statutory short form is a standardized document that grants your agent broad powers to manage your property and finances. A customized form lets you specify the powers you want to grant to your agent. Select a trustworthy individual who will act in your best interests regardless of which type you choose.

Distributing Your Assets Via Wills and Trusts

Another component of estate planning is determining how your assets will be distributed after your death. In Illinois, you can accomplish this using a will or a trust. A will is a legal document specifying how your property will be distributed and who will manage your estate.

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement where you assign the ownership of your assets to a trustee, who then administers them to benefit the beneficiaries you have named. Trusts may be classified as revocable or irrevocable, offering benefits like bypassing probate and reducing estate taxes.

Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan

After establishing your estate plan, revisit and revise it regularly. Significant life changes, such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, or acquiring new assets, may require updates to your plan. Reviewing your estate plan every few years or whenever a significant life event occurs is a good idea.

Contact a Libertyville, IL Estate Planning Attorney

Preparing your estate in anticipation of unforeseen health crises is crucial in protecting yourself and your family. Having a Gurnee, IL estate planning lawyer on your side can make this process smoother. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 847-549-0000 for a free consultation with our local attorneys who put their communities and clients first.

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