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Estate Planning Lawyer in Galesburg IL

Helping Make Estate Planning Easy | Galesburg IL

The team at Statham & Long is committed to making the will and estate planning process simple. There are a lot of details that go into proper planning, which makes it important that you enlist the help of a lawyer. Click the button below to learn more about your options and how Statham & Long can help.

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Why Hire An Estate Planning Lawyer?

While in today’s day and age, there are a lot of different sources with information on writing your own will, and it might seem feasible enough. You’re free to try on your own, but having a lawyer will make the process easier, cheaper, and quicker.

State laws are very specific about what can and can't be in a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; who can and can't serve as a ​personal representative, trustee, health care surrogate or attorney; who can and can't be a witness to a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney; and what formalities must be observed when signing a will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney.

You’re free to go it alone and write your own will; just realize that your family will be in for a rude awakening when they learn that part or all of your will, trust, or medical or financial power of attorney isn't legally valid or won't work as you had anticipated. Your loved ones may find themselves in a tricky situation where they’ll have to spend lots of time and money rectifying a mistake.

Aside from the legal and technical difficulties of getting a will done properly, you will have to invest a lot of time and effort in researching and then writing a proper estate plan, which includes your will. You may also face difficulty in court as a result, which will lead to professional fees, court costs, and taxes. Not to mention, if you write your own will and something happens to you that requires a change to the document, there is no do-over.

Estate Plan Versus Will

While the two terms “will” and “estate plan” are often used interchangeably, this is wrong, as they are two different things. An estate plan is a set of legal documents to prepare for your death or disability. A will is just one of those legal documents, albeit an important one.

Your lawyer will help you compose an estate plan, which of course includes your will. To be clear, the will is the core piece of your estate plan, and most people will use this word when referring to the estate plan as a whole.

In short, your will has to answer three major questions:

  1. Who do you want to have your stuff? A will provides orderly distribution of your property at death according to your wishes.

  2. Who do you want to be in charge of carrying out your wishes as expressed in the will? The “executor” is the person who will be responsible for making sure the will is carried out as written.

  3. Who do you want to take care of your kids? If you have minor children (kids under age 18), you’ll want to designate a legal guardian(s) who will take care of your children until they are adults.

There are six documents that should be part of most everyone’s estate plan:

  1. Estate plan questionnaire

  2. Will

  3. Power of attorney for healthcare

  4. Power of attorney for finances

  5. Disposition of personal property

  6. Disposition of final remains

Cost Of Estate Planning

Like anything else, the cost for the preparation and filing of the documents you asked about will vary depending on where you live. The price is not a set amount. Different attorneys value their time in different ways. The cost of a basic estate plan will probably be in the range of a few hundred dollars, though it's important to remember that lower cost may well reflect in the quality of an attorney's work — cheaper is not always better.

 

Estate Planning Vs Legacy Planning Vs Financial Planning

Financial planning can often have a more immediate goal than estate planning. Financial planning allows you to make decisions about your assets to help you achieve your goals in life. Conversely, an estate planning attorney is adept at understanding State and Federal laws to allow you to secure your financial legacy for your family.

When you plan your legacy, you consciously shape the way that you will be remembered after you pass away. A legacy plan could include acts of charitable giving, and it may also include family heirlooms. The heirlooms that you have in your possession are historical artifacts, you can be very selective with regard to the way that you pass these along.

 

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Statham & Long, LLC

117 E Main St #101, Galesburg, IL 61401

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