Four Estate-Planning Resolutions for 2016
Provided By: Alan G. Orlowsky
The New Year is off to a roaring (tumultuous, if you are watching the stock market) start. What better time to take a moment and consider your estate planning needs? Here are four easy resolutions to help you protect your assets and provide for your family in the event of a tragic and unexpected calamity:
- Create a will or trust: If you do not have a will or trust but do own real or personal property or have dependents, now is a great time to create an estate plan by having a will or trust drawn up. An estate planning attorney can help you identify the goals and desires you have for your family members and/or property following your death. The small investment of time and resources in crafting a will or trust can pay huge dividends for your family or beneficiaries in the event of your death.
- Update your will: If you acquired property in 2015 but have not yet updated your will, or if you changed your mind about how you want your property distributed upon your death but have not made these changes in your will, now is the perfect time to do so. If there are only minor changes to your will, your attorney can prepare and execute a codicil that will amend only the applicable part of your will. If you have major changes to address, it may be easier for your attorney to draft and execute a new will.
- Execute appropriate powers of attorney: Who will make financial decisions on your behalf if you are declared mentally incompetent and unable to make your own decisions? Who gets the final say regarding what health treatments to administer if you are in a coma? Powers of attorney allow you to designate individuals to make important decisions on your behalf in the event you cannot make these decisions on your own.
- Give a family member your passwords: Does your spouse or a trusted family member or friend have the passwords to your online bank accounts, retirement accounts, and social media accounts? If not, it can be time-consuming and expensive for your surviving family members to wind up your affairs. Consider writing down all of the passwords to your online accounts and giving them to a family member and/or the executor of your will or trustee of your trust.
The Illinois estate planning law firm of Orlowsky & Wilson can help you accomplish these resolutions and ensure your affairs are in order in the event the unexpected happens this year. Although no one enters a new year expecting to suddenly die, the fact is a tragic and unforeseen accident can happen at any moment. Protect yourself and your family members by scheduling an estate planning consultation with our knowledgeable and dedicated legal team. We serve clients in the Northbrook, Highland Park, Glenview, Glencoe, Skokie, and Evanston areas as well as communities surrounding these locations. Call us today at (847) 325-5559 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.