Tinley Park, IL Estate Planning Attorney
Estate Planning Lawyer in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and Cook County
Over 50 percent of Americans do not even have a basic estate plan, let alone a more comprehensive one that provides various financial benefits, along with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a long-term plan in place. Many people put off estate planning because they do not like to think about death or feel that they do not have enough assets to warrant such a step. But a well-crafted plan addresses a wide range of issues, like property disposition, provisions for family and loved ones, estate management, tax considerations, and continuity of business ownership.
At the Law Offices of Eric Zelazny, we understand that end-of-life issues can be unpleasant to think about. Because of that, we go out of our way to make the experience better than you expected. Our clients are highly satisfied with the results that our hard-working team of professionals produce. Attorney Zelazny personally meets each client and walks he or she through the entire legal process. Mr. Zelazny will provide you with a legally-enforceable set of estate planning documents that is understandable and empower you to take control of your financial situations.
Components of an Estate Plan
Wills: An estate plan begins with a will. All in all, a will controls the disposition of your property upon your death. Typically, wills are not difficult to prepare and can often be done in only one or two visits. For this reason, some people are tempted to take shortcuts and use a legal document preparation service for this task. However, only a bar licensed attorney can give you the legal advice you need. Mr. Zelazny is not only qualified as an attorney, but he is also a licensed CPA, offering a specific skill set better able to help you and your financial estate planning needs.
Probate: This is the process by which the will and other testamentary documents become legally enforceable. During probate, the personal representative receives the authority to pay debts and distribute assets. Most wills contain a self-proving affidavit that streamlines the process. If the proceedings do become contested, our estate planning lawyers are well-positioned to provide solid advice and experienced guidance.
Other major components of a financial plan may include:
- Joint Tenancy: Many people use this legal device to transfer real property and bank accounts. However, joint tenancy precludes other heirs, like children, from sharing in the income from revenue-producing property. Therefore, it is not advisable in all cases.
- Revocable Living Trusts: As the name implies, a revocable "inter-vivo" trust is established while the settlor (the person making the trust) is still alive and can make changes. While this type of trust may shield some assets from probate, there may be significant costs and maintenance fees.
- Irrevocable Living Trust: While this trust is not as flexible as a revocable living trust, it may have a lower cost and some tax advantages. Irrevocable trusts cannot be terminated after they are finalized and are usually enacted to avoid probate.
- Power of Attorney: Also known as a "living will," a power of attorney provides answers to incapacitation or death issues and ownership questions before they are even asked.
The state and federal government place strict limits on the amount of money that can be passed on in an estate plan or given as gifts during life, while not being subject to additional taxes. These laws frequently change, underscoring the need for an experienced attorney to develop your estate plan.
To obtain the security that an estate plan offers, contact the Law Offices of Eric Zelazny at 708-888-2299 for a free consultation. We serve individuals and families in Joliet, Tinley Park, Oak Law, Orland Park, Frankfort, New Lenox, DuPage County, Will County, and Cook County.