In this article, you will learn…
- How to avoid blunders during the estate planning process.
- How specific to be when listing assets.
- Why updating estate planning documents is so crucial.
- And more!
What Mistakes Do People Make When They Attempt To Do Their Own Estate Planning?
The most common mistake people make when they attempt to do their own estate planning is not having their plan witnessed or notarized. For a will to be valid, it must have two witnesses who provide notarized signatures.
The second common issue is related to estate plan review. Not changing estate planning documents, or at least going back and making sure that they still dictate your wants can have drastic ramifications.
For example, if a divorced individual passes away without changing their estate plan, the ex-spouse would likely take some portion of the estate. To avoid this mistake, (or a similar one), review your estate plans periodically (or as major life events occur) to make sure they indicate exactly what you want.
Are There Certain Assets That Cannot Be Put Into Wills Or Trusts?
As far as our firm is aware, there are no specific assets that can’t be moved into a trust or listed into a will unless that asset does not belong to the testator.
How Specific Do You Have To Be In Listing Assets When Creating A Will Or A Trust?
How specific you have to be in listing assets when creating a will or a trust depends on the assets in question.
For example, consider the funds in a bank account. Since values change over time, a bank name, location, and the last four digits of that account would be listed in the documentation instead of a specific amount of money. This way, the executor would know where to go and where to find the assets.
However, you should be careful to make sure that not so much information is listed that anyone in contact with the documents could have full access to those accounts before necessary.
What Happens If The Creator Of A Will Or A Trust Didn’t Update Their Estate Planning Documents To Reflect Changes Such As Gain Or Loss Of Assets?
If an asset has been lost, sold, or removed from the creator’s estate, there are typically no concerns depending on who the asset was supposed to go to. They would likely lose that on their inheritance, which is typically a nonissue.
If an asset is attained and hasn’t been added to the will, it goes outside of the will and would go into an “intestate” so that the asset can be distributed based on the intestacy rules in Illinois. As such, you would want to make sure that you add those assets to your estate plan to avoid their passage through the probate process.
In summary, there are ways that the court would be able to determine who those assets would go to if they were not put into a will or trust in the first place. However, if an asset is sold or removed, for whatever reason, the person that asset was intended for would no longer inherit it.
What Happens When Someone Passes Away With Just A Will In Illinois?
The most significant aspect of the process is getting the will on file and then contacting a probate attorney who would be able to officially assist in the next step and probate that person’s estate.
Because a will is supposed to be pursuant to state laws, it should be filed within 30 days of death. Once the will is filed, the executor would file a probate matter, and the case would proceed through probate.
Probate is an in-depth process that occurs after the testator dies. In Illinois, an attorney is required for probate, so contacting a probate attorney to assist in the process is ideal.
For more information on Estate Planning For Young Adults In Illinois, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (312) 779-0098 today.
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