Wills Attorney in
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Have you begun planning your estate yet? Estate planning is not something that is just reserved for the elderly. People of all ages and health statuses should consider getting their affairs in order. As a result of the pandemic alone, the number of young adults with a will has increased by 63% since 2020. Whether you have considered it in the past or would like to start today but don’t know where to begin, hiring an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney is an important first step in the process. 

Here at our firm, Christopher S. Nudo, Attorney at Law is someone who will lead with integrity and put your interests first. Our legal team strives to provide reliable legal counsel and strong representation to each and every one of our clients. If you want to learn more about creating a will as part of your estate plan and are located in Arlington Heights, Elgin, or the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, contact our firm today for reliable legal guidance you can trust.

Overview of Wills

There is so much information out there on what a will is and what it can do for you. Unfortunately, it’s not always the most accurate information. Let’s dive into an overview of the different types of wills you can have, and what they can do for you.

Types of Wills

In the state of Illinois, there are a few different types of wills that you can have. The most common types are as follows:

  1. Statutory Will - This is a straightforward will that handles small estates.
  2. Last Will and Testament - This is an individual's last instructions on how he/she wants the estate distributed and who should be in charge of the estate. 
  3. Living Will - Living wills, which are called a "Declaration" in Illinois, have to do with setting out instructions about your health and how you want to die when you are in the last moments of life. If you are in hospice and you are unable to communicate your wishes, a Living Will dictates what measures you want to take.
  4. Trust Will - Trust wills are based around a trust. A trustee is appointed to look after your assets on behalf of beneficiaries that you name and is based upon a trust that is created upon the establishment of your estate.

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Contents of the Will

The contents of a will typically include any of the following:

  • Assets 
  • Beneficiaries 
  • Specific gifts
  • Trusts
  • Specifics for children and guardians
  • Executor - the person who carries out the will

When it comes to validating a will, you will need to be there as well as a witness. There are other formalities that must be followed as well to make sure it is valid. An attorney can help with this process to ensure your will is properly validated and legally binding.

Commonly Inherited Assets

When it comes to the assets that you choose to bequeath in your will to your beneficiaries, it’s important to understand how to properly categorize and pass along these assets. Some of the most common assets that are outlined in a will are monetary assets, including property, such as cars, houses, or land. Family heirlooms or things such as furniture and art can also be passed down as well.

The Difference Between a Will and a Trust

Even though wills and trusts are sometimes seen as the same thing, they are two completely separate estate planning tools. A living trust becomes active right away, while your will generally will not become active until your death. Additionally, when someone creates a trust, the trust is not required to go through the probate process after death, unlike a will that traditionally needs to go through probate. 

You should discuss the various benefits and advantages of a will versus a trust with your own estate planning attorney so that you can make the right decision for your situation.

Why Having a Will is Important

Most people do not seem to realize the value and importance of having a will. They might assume that their spouse or children will automatically get everything if they die without a will. Dying without a will can oftentimes complicate the process. If you die without a will, you are considered to have died intestate — which means that the state probate code will decide what happens to all of your assets. 

Your estate will go through the process of probate, which can be a long, expensive and arduous process that can only add to the stress and anxiety your family will endure after you’re gone. In the midst of mourning a loss, going through the probate process is never easy for your loved ones. With a strategic estate plan in place, you can save your loved ones the complication of any probate proceedings and ensure that your wishes are followed down to the last detail. 

So if you or someone you know is contemplating creating a will or a trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan, don’t wait. Call or reach out to our firm, Christopher S. Nudo, Attorney at Law, today for reliable legal guidance. We will do everything we can to help you understand your options and craft a will as part of your estate plan so you can have a plan in place for your future.

Wills Attorney Serving
Arlington Heights, Illinois

When it comes to estate planning, you want your family and your interests to be protected long after you’re gone. Here at our firm, Christopher S. Nudo, Attorney at Law, we make that our top priority. We will work directly with you to assess the details of your situation and outline a strategic will as part of a comprehensive estate plan that can protect your assets and preserve a future for you and your family. If you are considering a will or trust as part of your estate plan and you live in Arlington Heights, Elgin, or the northwest suburbs of Chicago, schedule a consultation today. We would be happy to go over your options and answer any questions you have.