Godfrey residents are counseled to create a will early on in their lives. However, even with this advice in place, many fail to see to their estate planning. Indeed, according to information shared by the American Association of Retired Persons, only 4 in 10 American adults have created any type of estate planning instrument. Some may think that if they do not have a will, their heirs will be able to decide how to divide their assets on their own, However, that is not the case. The state sets forth the terms of how one's estate is distributed if they die intestate (without a will).
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.
One of the easiest ways to avoid probate in Illinois is to not leave behind anything that needs to go through that process. Essentially, this means having all your assets set up to automatically transfer to another person upon your death. Many people use trusts or have joint ownership of an asset. If you have a spouse, assets typically go directly to him or her when you die. However, you may have other situations with assets where these things cannot apply. In those cases, you may consider a payable on death account.