Estate Planning Attorney McHenry IL

An estate plan is more than just what happens to my stuff when I die.

Although an estate plan should provide direction for the disposition of your real and personal property, it can also establish who can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated or directives for your end-of-life care.  The following are elements of a complete estate plan.

Will – A will controls how your property is distributed after your death.

Power of Attorney for Healthcare – Designates an agent capable of making medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.  Your agent is capable of carrying out your end-of-life directives.

Power of Attorney for Property – Designates an agent capable of controlling your property.  Your agent can be given authority to buy or sell property on your behalf, access bank accounts and many other powers related to your real and personal property.

Living Will – Not really a will, but directions to your family, friends and medical professionals regarding your end-of-life wishes.  What life-saving measures do you want taken?  At what point do you want life-sustaining medical care to be suspended?

HIPAA Authorization – Gives access to your agent(s), family or friends, or attorney to review your medical records in order to make decisions regarding your capacity or care.

Land Trust – If you own real estate, a land trust is an excellent way for you to control how your real estate is distributed after death.  Property held in a land trust will pass to designated beneficiaries outside of your probate estate.  Land trusts also provide privacy and fraud protection because your identity is not revealed in the public land records.

Revocable or Irrevocable Trusts – Personal and real property is owned by the trustee for the benefit of designated beneficiaries.  Trusts are useful both during your life and after you pass.  Trusts can protect property from creditors, can be professionally managed, protect assets from tax liability, and can completely avoid probate.

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