Hire a Probate Lawyer in Chicago to Properly Plan an Estate

by | Dec 28, 2016 | Thought Legal

The thought of preparing a will is so overwhelming that most people avoid it altogether. However, death is something everyone must face, and it’s important to be prepared. These tips can help clients handle the estate planning process in a way that does not interfere with daily life.

Create a List of Assets

When a client makes a list of assets, they should include everything they want to leave to beneficiaries regardless of the asset’s size. Large items such as homes, cars and bank accounts are easy to consider, but clients should consider sentimental items as well. In today’s online world, most people have electronic assets to think about as well. Planners should create a list of online usernames and passwords for later use. While most people don’t leave these accounts to beneficiaries, they may want a relative to access the account so it can be deleted after they’re gone. How a person distributes their assets is their decision, but creating a list is critical. Clients can keep a list with their lawyer, or they can put it in a safe place at home.

Review Beneficiary Info on 401k, IRA and Retirement Accounts

Naming a beneficiary for assets is important because it allows the assets to be passed on immediately after death, without the need to go through probate. However, since a person’s beneficiary designation overrides a will, it should be carefully planned and frequently updated. If beneficiaries aren’t named for these accounts, they are automatically included in the will and distributed through the probate process.

Choose the Right Executor

Executors are the people in charge of ensuring that a person’s last wishes are carried out. The executor needn’t be a financial adviser or lawyer, but the client should choose someone who will act impartially and fairly. Some people choose a probate lawyer in Chicago as an executor because they want an experienced, impartial person to oversee the asset distribution process.

Get a Lawyer’s Help

Various online sources can walk a client through the process of creating a will, at a lower cost than hiring a lawyer. However, unless they have few assets or they plan to leave the estate to a single person, these choices are simplistic. For most individuals, estate planning is complex, and hiring a probate lawyer in Chicago with Starr Bejgiert Zink & Rowells is the only way to ensure it’s done correctly.

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