Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Providing Accurate and Timely Legal Advice – Chicago Area Estate Planning Lawyer

Many people fail to develop a comprehensive estate plan despite its valuable role in protecting the financial legacy that took a lifetime to build.  Estate planning is vital to ensure the smooth transfer of your assets to your loved ones, protection of your assets from creditors, and the honoring of your wishes regarding extraordinary medical procedures and end-of-life decisions.  Chicago Estate Planning Attorney Richard J. Arendt has been providing sound legal advice, effective estate planning strategies, and artfully drafted estate planning documents for 38 years.

Legacy Succession Planning & Asset Protection Based on Thirty Years of Experience

While some people worry about the expense associated with constructing an estate plan, this sum often is nominal when compared to the cost of not having an effective estate plan.  When a person dies intestate (i.e. without a will or trust), surviving family members frequently are saddled with the expense associated with contested probate proceedings and avoidable tax consequences.

At the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt, we carefully analyze your goals and concerns which permit us to customize an effective estate plan that protects your assets from your creditors or the creditors of your heirs upon your death.  A well-conceived estate plan also will include the necessary documents that indicate who you want responsible for your business and financial affairs, as well as medical decisions if you should become incapacitated by a serious accident or illness.  Finally, a will or living trust can ensure that the wealth that you have spent a lifetime building is transferred to your loved ones according to your wishes when you pass away.

Experienced estate planning lawyer Richard J. Arendt drafts critical estate planning devices like wills and living trusts, which can save your family members money and time when they are coping with the emotional hardship of mourning your loss.  When you die without a will (or a living trust), your family is forced to deal with the legal complexities, costs, and delay of the probate process without clear direction regarding your intentions.  Mr. Arendt will meet with you to discuss your goals while reviewing your assets and financial affairs, so he can devise an estate plan that provides financial security for you and your loved ones.  While some people presume that they do not need an estate plan because they do not have substantial assets, almost anyone can benefit from asset protection and reducing the costs associated with legacy succession.

High-Quality Advice and Drafting for the Full Spectrum of Estate Planning Documents

Some of the types of estate planning documents that a Chicago Area Estate Planning Attorney at the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt might be able to draft as part of your estate plan include:

Simple Wills v. Trusts: Wills become effective when you die and specify how you wish your property and assets to be transferred upon your death.  Wills must be submitted for probate, which can be costly and time-consuming.  The often lengthy probate process can delay the availability of assets that your family may need to provide for their household expenses.  While a simple will often is part of a comprehensive estate plan, other documents like a living trust might provide a mechanism to transfer assets that reduces the delay, administrative hassle, and cost associated with the probate process.

Living Will: The function of a living will is to indicate what medical procedures and extraordinary medical care you wish to have performed if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious.  A living will provides a mechanism for you to specifically articulate life-sustaining procedures you want performed and those you do not want performed.

Power of Attorney: A power of attorney may deal with financial affairs or medical issues.  The function of a power of attorney is to permit you to designate someone to act on your behalf when you are unavailable or incapacitated.  A health care power of attorney allows you to specifically empower someone to act and make decisions in your place if you should become incapacitated.  By contrast, a financial power of attorney can cover a broad spectrum of financial affairs, including signing contracts, paying bills, filing taxes, disposing of assets, etc.

Committed to Protecting Your Legacy, Personal Dignity & Financial Security

These are merely a small number of examples of the types of estate planning documents that experienced DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney Richard J. Arendt can formulate and draft as part of your comprehensive estate plan.  The decisions covered by an estate plan are some of the most important decisions a person must make including:

  • Which of your assets should pass to which loved ones at death?
  • Who should care for your children if something should happen to you?
  • How do you wish your dignity to be respected in terms of end-of-life decisions?
  • What person should be entrusted to step into your shoes and make financial and medical decisions if you are temporarily unable to do so?

Because an estate plan deals with such fundamental and important issues, the Law Office of Richard J. Arendt focuses on personalized service and careful attention to your wishes and goals.  We offer a no obligation free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation and determine your needs.