Estate planning is a time-consuming process for many people in Illinois who carefully analyze several areas of their life to identify where clarifications need to be made that will allow their surviving family members to know how to distribute their estate. Decisions regarding health care and financial proxies, guardianship of minors, distribution of assets and even allotment of their sentimental possessions to heirs, are all a part of creating a well-rounded estate plan. 

What many people may not recognize is how important it is to continually revisit and update their estate plan even after its creation and legal authorization is complete. Many industry professionals recommend that people assess the effectiveness and validity of their plan every three years to determine that it will still function as they desire despite changes to their family, alterations to laws, or personal changes to final wishes. 

An example of events that could affect whether or not a person’s estate plan is still operable as they first intended, include births or deaths that have taken place in their family, changes in relationships with heirs, divorce, retirement and obvious changes to important laws that affect things like death tax. With the guidance of a professional, people can be confident that despite the constant ebbs and flows of life, their estate plan remains unchanged and completely effective in terms of honoring their final wishes. 

When people are ready to begin planning their estate, an attorney can help them get their affairs in order. Utilizing the information provided by the family, legal professionals can assist in organizing an estate plan to reflect the lifestyle and desires of the person it is for. 

Source:, “A New Year: A good time to review your life planning, not only your estate planning,” Linda L. Eliovson and Christine M. Tenore, Jan. 19, 2019