The last thing that you want to do is leave this world without a will. Your legacy is important, and you don’t want to leave your loved ones scrambling to sort out finances and split assets without direction. Without a will, your assets will also be split up according to the laws that govern the state in which you live. You will not have a say in where they go, and they may end up not going to the person which you want to have them. The best way to avoid a headache for your family and ensure your assets go to your loved ones is to draft a proper will with a wills and estates attorney that outlines all possible aspects and accounts for your desires.
Make a plan
When you want to create a will, you need to go through your life and look at everyone that may be affected by your death and has a stake in your estate. This includes examples such as your spouse, ex-spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, and parents, though friends and other loved ones do factor in as well. These are the people who will benefit as a result of you having a properly planned out will.
Once you have taken these individuals into account, you must analyze your assets. This includes personal possessions, finances, real estate, and business ventures.
The value of all of your assets, once you have taken out all of the taxes, legal fees, and funeral expenses that come with passing away, you then have an idea of how much you will have to leave to your loved ones.
Should you put funds into a trust?
A trust is an excellent solution to help financially support minors, support charities, as well as have safeguards in place for beneficiaries. When funds are held in a trust, they are held with rules and stipulations that the person who set up the trust puts in place. For example, a cottage can be put in a trust with multiple children put on the trust as beneficiaries, but a rule can stipulate that the property cannot be sold without agreement between all parties. A trust can be a great tool to help you ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
What about minor children?
If you have minor children, then you need a will that stipulates who will become their legal guardian in the event of your death. If you have a spouse or an ex-spouse, then they will retain custody, but if you are a single parent, then you need to include in your will who takes over as their guardian. If you do not include this, then your death can be even more turbulent for your children.
It sounds like a lot
Trying to create an Estate Plan on your own that considers everything, including the tax that your heirs may owe, is incredibly difficult. Hiring a lawyer to draft your documents and to ensure that everything is in order will take a weight off of your shoulders. Our estate planning team at The Knee Law Firm, Ltd., will be happy to meet with you to discuss how to start this important process.
Real estate transactions can be hard to understand, especially if you are a first time homeowner. Even if you’ve had previous experience in buying and selling, it is important to have professional help to make sure there are no surprises later. After all, there is a lot of investment at stake - your entire life’s hard-earned savings in many cases. A real estate lawyer can look into transactions that miss your eye, especially when you are buying property. There are bigger risks in buying than selling. Make sure you protect your interests by asking your real estate lawyer these four important questions before you close the deal:
Selling and buying has different requirements; but buying comes with more risks. Check the background of your real estate lawyer, even if they come recommended by a friend. Find out how many years of experience they have. Many years of experience translates to more security for you. Sometimes issues can get complicated when you least expect. It helps to have an experienced lawyer sort things out smoothly. Ask if they had similar transactions earlier. They may be in a better position to deal with yours then. Sometimes, things may miss your eye but an experienced lawyer is quick to spot problems and resolve them. They may know something that you were not told by your realtor for example. An experienced lawyer can point that out before you sign the deal.
Not every lawyer deals with the same situation in the same way. It takes a great deal of knowledge and self-assurance to handle complications. If the lawyer sounds vague, under-confident and unsure, you know you may be heading for a no-win situation. The stakes are high. You cannot take a chance. Ask your lawyer about his expertise in buying condos and homes. Each has its own challenges that he should know about. He should have knowledge about the differences and strengths in buying different kinds of properties from commercial, to co-ops and of course, different kind of residential properties.
Not all lawyers work alone. Some are part of a law firm so they work with teams for extra support, assistance and quicker delivery. At other times, your lawyer may have a junior attorney or paralegal to give a hand, but at no point should you find yourself dealing with the junior assistant more than the one you hired, especially regarding important decisions regarding your real estate matters. At all times, whoever you are dealing with, it is important for you to be cordial, even if you disagree.
Find out about the fee requirements. There are some lawyers who work on a standard hourly rate. Others may work in the fee of the junior assistants or team. Many others demand a flat fee. Try to negotiate if you can.
The Knee Law Firm, Ltd. Services
If you are looking for specialized services with years of experience in real estate, contact us. At The Knee Law Firm, you are much more than a client. We have extensive experience to help you and encourage you to keep in touch with us, even after you close the deal. Our friendly experts are known to build long term relationships with our clients. Call us for any help in Illinois real estate matters.