Illinois residents who don’t have wills or trusts may want to start thinking about the estate planning process in the near future. Ideally, individuals will think about what they would like their plans to accomplish as well as who would carry out their wishes. If the estate owner has a family member or friend who is capable of managing assets, that person may be a good pick to be an estate executor or a trustee.

However, those who don’t have someone capable of managing assets properly might want to hire a professional to do so. This person would likely have the knowledge and experience necessary to act in an estate or trust’s best interest. In fact, a professional would have a fiduciary duty to an estate or beneficiaries of a trust. It is worth noting that a professional will likely charge for services.

After a plan has been created, it is a good idea to review it on a regular basis. A review should take place after a major life event such as a divorce or the birth of a grandchild. Otherwise, they can be scheduled annually or every two years based on the estate owner’s needs. In addition to regular plan reviews, individuals should have estate planning conversations with beneficiaries and other family members.

Ideally, a person will work with an estate planning attorney to create a will, trust or some other plan document. Legal counsel may also be able to create medical or financial agent documents on a client’s behalf. After a plan has been created, periodic reviews are a good idea. Legal counsel may assist in making any changes to a plan.

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