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Barrington IL Will Lawyers

Skilled Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Inverness, Algonquin, and Throughout the Area

The importance of establishing and maintaining a will cannot be underestimated. A will is not a legal requirement under law, but it ensures that your property and assets are passed along according to your intentions. Those with minor children may use the document to indicate who you wish to assume guardianship in your absence. The law firm of Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC has over 25 years of experience in implementing comprehensive and legally compliant wills for clients in Illinois.

Passing Away Without Having a Will

If you were to unexpectedly die without a will in place, the process of distributing your assets is left subjected to the state's rigid rules and procedures. The state does not attempt to assume what your intentions were, and there is the potential for conflict among your heirs. It may be necessary for your assets to be liquidated and have the proceeds divided. If you have a spouse and children, the current law simply distributes half of your assets to your spouse, and the remainder equally divided among your children.

Wills and Children

If you have minor children and no surviving parent, a will may indicate to the court your wishes for who should assume guardianship of them. If your intent is not documented, the court may be forced to intervene and order a guardian to assume custody. You may have a trusted family member that you wish to assume guardianship, and this individual may also serve as the executor of your estate. These two roles may be assigned to separate parties if one individual is a better fit to care for your children, and another is the best option for managing the finances associated with their care. Potential tax consequences should be considered with assistance from a lawyer to maximize the amount that your children will actually inherit.

Drafting a Will

Illinois law states that any individual that is 18 years of age and mentally competent is entitled to draft a will to bequeath their estate at the time of their death. To do so, you should contact an attorney that handles wills and other functions of overall estate planning. Wills are completed in writing and signed in the presence of two credible witnesses. Changes and updates to your will are completed by drafting a codicil. Illinois observes the conformity standards of the Uniform International Wills Act, which allows for a will to written in any format and any language.

Living Will

Living wills are defined by the Illinois Living Wills Act. Individuals have fundamental rights regarding decisions relating to their own medical care. A living will may include whether to maintain or withdraw life-supporting procedures when a terminal condition has rendered you unable to maintain life on your own. Your remaining family members may be contentious on issues of this nature. In addition, you have the option of making your organs available for donation to others in need.

Power of Attorney for Healthcare (POAHC)

The POAHC assigns an individual to make medically-related decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able. The POAHC has a wider-ranging set of options compared to a living will. You may also designate this individual to be responsible for what happens to your remains.

All adults should create and maintain a will with assistance from a qualified attorney. For three decades, the lawyers at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, have been advising clients on these important matters. For a consultation, contact our office today at 847-381-8700. We serve those in Barrington, Inverness, Algonquin, Palatine, Cary, Fox River Grove, Kildeer, Wauconda, Island Lake, Lake Zurich, and all surrounding communities.

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