Estate planning is something that most everyone is aware they need to do; yet, most people don’t really know all that much about it. As a result, there are a number of common myths and misconceptions about estate planning that can have serious consequences if you choose to believe them. For example, one of the most commonly believed myths about estate planning is the often heard “I don’t need an estate plan unless I’m wealthy.” If you buy into this myth you may fail to protect your loved ones, your assets, and even yourself.
The value of your estate assets has nothing to do with whether or not you need an estate plan in place. True, the more valuable your estate, the more complex your estate planning may need to be; however, everyone over the age of 18 needs at least a basic estate plan in place. The main reason people believe they need to have a sizable estate before an estate plan becomes necessary is that they do not understand what all an estate plan can accomplish. They also don’t understand the negative consequences of not having an estate plan in place.
The primary reason why most people create at least a basic estate plan is the desire to control what happens to their estate assets after death. These assets, however, need not be monetarily valuable. Family heirlooms, or sentimental possessions, need not be valuable in terms of dollars and cents for you to care what happens to them. Without at least a basic Last Will and Testament in place, however, you can’t be sure what will happen to them because the Illinois intestate succession laws will decide for you.
A well thought out estate plan can do far more than simply provide for the distribution of estate assets. Among the numerous additional goals an estate plan can help you achieve are:
Special needs planning
Long-term care planning
Business succession planning
Each one of this additional goals and objectives can be incorporated into your comprehensive estate plan, thereby increasing the value of your estate plan.
Finally, one thing that can only be accomplished by executing a Will is nominating a guardian for your minor children in the event one is ever needed. Should both parent of a minor child be unable, or unwilling, to care for the child a court must appoint a legal guardian. Your Will is the only opportunity you will have to tell the court who you would want for the position.
If you have additional questions or concerns about your Illinois estate plan contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.