DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney
Serving Elmhurst, Naperville, and Surrounding Chicago Suburbs
Planning an estate is a task many people put off. None of us want to confront our own mortality and discuss issues we often have a difficult time talking about. The problem is that if you do not have your final affairs in order, the crucial decisions regarding your financial assets, your care and the care of your underage children may be left in the hands of a court, relatives, or other strangers. You can’t plan after you die or become incapacitated.
In addition, decisions about your future healthcare (should you become incapacitated) could also end up in the hands of people that you may not trust or want involved in determining your future medical care and treatment consistent with your intentions.
Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law, is an estate planning lawyer serving families in Cook County, DuPage County, and communities throughout the Chicago area. With over three decades of experience planning estates in Illinois, Michael has in-depth knowledge of this area of the law. Our DuPage County estate planning lawyer, who will work with you personally, understands that each family situation is unique and takes the time to ask the right questions to determine your specific needs and craft an effective, affordable plan that addresses your needs and carries out your wishes.
Attorney LoCicero handles all types of estate planning issues, including:
- Powers of Attorney for Property: A power of attorney for property is a writing which appoints an agent to act on your behalf regarding all of your financial matters and affairs. This power can take effect either immediately or at some later time if you become incapacitated.
- Powers of Attorney for Health Care: A power of attorney for health care is a writing which appoints a trusted loved one as your agent, with the authority to act on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so to determine the medical care and treatment which should be provided to you. This type of power of attorney also provides your agent access to your medical records, power to donate your organs, and also dispose of your remains.
- Living Wills: Living wills are directives that provide instructions on which death-delaying healthcare procedures you wish to have done if you are in terminal condition.
Lifetime AND After Death Protections:
- Trusts: Living trusts are written instruments that are set up while you are still alive and provide you a lifetime benefit as well as provide for the immediate distribution of trust assets upon your death, without probate. During your lifetime, it can provide for a Successor Trustee to step in upon your incapacitation and manage your assets for your benefit during the rest of your life. It further simplifies the process of transferring assets to your beneficiaries upon your death.
- Special Needs Trust: A trust that helps ensure that any of your dependents with special needs will have their interests protected should something happen to you.
- Insurance Trust: A trust established to benefit others which is funded by proceeds of a life insurance policy.
- Children’s Trust: A trust established for minor children or grandchildren to limit their access to assets so they are used for education or health related purposes until final distribution.
After Death Protections:
- Wills: A simple will in Illinois is governed by the Probate Act of 1975. Also known as a Last Will and Testament, it simply is your written statement about what happens with assets, titled in your name only, at the time of your death. In it, you will select and name an executor, determine how your assets will be distributed, waive certain cost costs and procedures, and appoint a guardian for any minor children you may have. You could also establish a future trust to manage assets that may be left to minor beneficiaries, like your children or grandchildren.
- Estate Probate: Probate is the process by which the assets in your estate are distributed to your heirs or legatees. The executor of your estate (as designated in your will) is charged with beginning this process by filing the required court documents. In the absence of a will, an administrator will usually be appointed by the court. Critical issues such as minor inheritance and guardianship of children and disabled adults are usually decided during the probate process.
Estate planning is essential for giving your loved ones certainty regarding your final affairs, as well as potential healthcare decisions that may arise in the future. To ensure that you have an enforceable estate plan that covers your specific needs, contact Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law at 630-932-7007 for a free consultation. Our DuPage County estate planning lawyer represents clients for wills, trusts, probate, and other estate planning issues in Cook County and DuPage County; including the city of Chicago and its suburbs, as well as Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Oak Brook, Bensenville, Itasca, Hillside, Darien, Lemont, Naperville, Wheaton, Willowbrook, and other surrounding Illinois communities.