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The Basics Of What A Will Is

Wills have been around for centuries and are likely to be around for centuries more. Wills are a part of the basic legal fabric of modern, civilized society that allows for the accumulation of wealth and assets (what we call an “estate”) and for the control of that wealth and assets. Wills allow us to extend that control to other people beyond our own life.

A will (more formally called a last will and testament) is a fundamental component of estate planning. Wills can be the centerpiece of an estate plan or the safety net, depending on the plan. They provide guidelines and direction for how assets are distributed during the probate process. Without a will, the Illinois Probate Act determines those things and imposes burdens that can be avoided by having a will. Even more, complicated estates that have trusts and other mechanisms also include a will. Understanding what a will does (and does not do) and why a will is as important as a component of an estate plan is fundamental.

Why A Will Is Important In Your Estate Plan

A will says, “I care about my loved ones who survive me.” It provides structure and order in the chaos and uncertainty that follows the loss of a loved one. A will communicates our loving desires and charitable intentions, allowing us to put the right people in charge of handling the estate. By setting up a will, we ensure that everyone we wish to benefit from the assets in the estate receives the inheritance that we choose. It streamlines the administration of the probate estate, avoiding unnecessary costs and minimizing the delay in completing the probate process.

The only benefit we have of the wealth and the assets we leave behind is the ability to direct them to the people we love and care for, to leave them a legacy of our care and to make their lives a little easier by our thoughtful planning. Just as we have taken care of the accumulation of those assets during life, we can take care of the way we leave our wealth and assets behind for the benefit of others.

Contact The Estate Planning Legal Team At Drendel & Jansons Law Group

If you have not done your estate planning or are concerned that the estate planning you have done is obsolete or not adequate, for whatever reason, we would love to help you. Call us at 630-523-0543 or fill out our online contact form to set up an initial consultation. We do estate planning for a flat fee so you know exactly what the cost will be at the start, depending on the type of estate planning that you choose. Please contact us for a fee chart and other documentation to get you started, including an estate planning worksheet. You will need to specify “individual” or “couple”.

If you retain us to do your estate planning, we will explain the probate process and the importance of a will to you, and all of the options that you have available to you to make your estate planning accomplish your goals and minimize your concerns.