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This article discusses the eight essential steps to creating a solid estate plan, according to estate planners:

  1. Make a list of all of your assets.
  1. Create a list of your estate planning priorities and goals.
  1. Calculate the costs of achieving your objectives and goals.
  1. Consult with an estate planning attorney about drafting a will.
  1. Grant a durable power of attorney to a family member or friend.
  1. Think about making a living will.
  1. Create a Health Care Advance Directive.
  1. Go through the estate plan with a fine-tooth comb on a regular basis.

Estate planning can be a complicated and tedious process, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these steps to create your own estate plan today and ensure that you are covered under any circumstances.  

This article discusses the eight essential steps to creating a solid estate plan, according to estate planners:

  1. Make a list of all of your assets.
  1. Create a list of your estate planning priorities and goals.
  1. Calculate the costs of achieving your objectives and goals.
  1. Consult with an estate planning attorney about drafting a will.
  1. Grant a durable power of attorney to a family member or friend.
  1. Think about making a living will.
  1. Create a Health Care Advance Directive.
  1. Go through the estate plan with a fine-tooth comb on a regular basis.

Make a list of all of your assets

You must establish not only what you own, but also how you own it: solely in your name, in your spouse's name, or jointly with right of survivorship. Checking accounts, holiday properties, brokerage accounts, and personal property should all be included. When you meet your attorney, bring copies of these documents with you.  

Create a list of your estate planning priorities and goals

Determine your personal and family planning objectives. Take into account the needs of your partner, children, parents, and those who are reliant on you for care. Make a list of your personal objectives, such as paying for healthcare, retirement, or holiday travel. Finally, keep your philanthropic objectives in mind. Consider how you can instill philanthropic ideals in your children or continue to support the charities you have helped in your life.  

Calculate the costs of achieving your objectives and goals

It may be difficult to put a monetary value on a specific target. In these situations, you may need the assistance of a financial planner to establish those numbers.  

Consult with an estate planning attorney about drafting a will

Bring a list of your assets and objectives with you when meeting with your estate planning attorney. Allow your goals to guide the development of your willpower. Create a list of all the "tough choices" you'll have to make – either by yourself or with the assistance of a friend or other loved one. Who will be the executor of your estate? Who would act as guardian for your children if anything happens to you when they are still minors? Which children are in need of trust? Who is going to be the trustee for those trusts? If you've made your choices, ask your planner for assistance in integrating them into your estate plan.  

Grant a durable power of attorney to a family member or friend

A durable power of attorney is essential for anyone with assets, regardless of age. A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes a close relative or friend to conduct business in your name if you become disabled, sick, or incapacitated. You can grant your attorney-in-fact broad authority to act for you in any circumstance, or you can give him or her limited authority to act only in specific cases, with specific assets, or for a limited period of time.  

Think about making a living will

A living will is a document that instructs health care providers to remove or withhold artificial life support based on your desires under such circumstances. In certain states, a living will is only valid if the person has a terminal illness.  

Create a Health Care Advance Directive

An advance directive for health care allows you to appoint others to make medical decisions on your behalf. It is a much more comprehensive and versatile document than a living will. You can decide what forms of medical services you want (or don't want) in an advance directive for health care, and you can grant your attorney-in-fact broad discretion to make certain choices for you as he or she sees fit.

 

Go through the estate plan with a fine-tooth comb on a regular basis

Estate plans are created to reflect the laws in effect at the time of the drafting, as well as your personal goals and objectives. Things evolve. Your family structure can change, or tax laws may change, providing new ways to delay or eliminate tax. At least once every three to five years, review your estate plan.

Request a consultation with an Illinois Attorney. Call our office at (630) 324-6666 or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today. You can also fill out our confidential contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

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