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  • What Should Be Included in Wills in the Alton, IL Area?

    November 5, 2018 | Blog
  • Important Tips to Creating Wills in Alton, IL

    Wills are important steps in making sure that people’s property goes to who they want to have it after they pass away. It also lets your family stay out of probate court, which removes a significant burden from them as they grieve your death. If you’re thinking about creating a will in the Alton, IL area, here are some things to include.

    Dividing Up the Property

    wills alton illinois

    The primary purpose of typical wills is to divide up your physical property and assets. Make a list of all your important belongings, including things of significant emotional value, and think about who you want those to go to. This can be as detailed as you want it to be. Some people divide up every little item in their wills, while others just choose one or two beneficiaries. However, if you are married, Illinois law requires you to leave a portion of your estate to your spouse. If you have a very large estate, consult an estate planning attorney about tax implications and make sure you consider those when dividing up your assets.

    Child Custody

    If you have minor children, it’s a good idea to include details on who you would like to care for them if you pass away before they turn 18. Custody generally defaults to the other parent unless the other parent has had his or her rights terminated, but it’s still a good idea to include the provision in case you both become incapacitated.

    Pet Provisions

    If you have beloved pets, you may want to specify who you want them to live with if you die. This can help keep them out of the animal shelter. Some people also designate part of their financial estate to help care for the animals. Make sure the person you designate for pet care agrees to do it.

    Naming an Executor

    The executor is the person who is responsible for making sure that the instructions in your will are followed. If you don’t name one in your will, the state will appoint one for you. However, it speeds up the process if you include it. Choose a person you trust to make decisions and follow your wishes.

    Signed, Dated and Witnessed

    estate planning in alton illinoisUnder Illinois law, wills must meet certain requirements to be legal. Although it’s generally a good idea to work with an attorney in Troy, IL, you can write your own will. However, you must attest that you are over 18 years old and of sound mind, and your signature must be witnessed by at least two people. Those people must sign and date the will as well.

    When you’re ready to discuss these and other details in regards to wills, contact the team at Levo-Donohoo, LLC!