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What are the big 5 in estate planning and administration?

What if there were a board game that involved guessing the names of important documents often included in Illinois estate plans? Most players of adult age would likely include final wills and testaments in their answers. Beyond that, however, many people are surprisingly unaware of even the most basic types of documents used in the estate planning and administration process.

There are typically five main documents most common in the average estate plan. In addition to a final will, many thorough plans also include living wills, various powers of attorney and revocable living trusts. Although these are the most basic and common types of estate planning documents, there is no law saying any one of them must be included in a particular plan.

The estate planning process as a whole is very customizable. One person may think it a high priority to include a living will and advanced medical directives in a plan while another may be more worried about who is going to take over his or her business. It often helps to ask an experienced estate planning attorney to review a proposed plan in order to gain assistance in designing a portfolio that best coincides with one’s immediate and long-term goals.

Once a person determines exactly which documents should be incorporated into an estate planning and administration plan, it doesn’t mean things are set in stone and can never be changed. To the contrary, any Illinois resident who executes an estate plan will want to review it periodically to check if any changes or updates are needed. This is also a service provided by most estate planning attorneys.

Source: ophthalmologytimes.modernmedicine.com, “Basic estate planning protects individual and legacy”, John J. Grande, Traudy F. Grande, Nov. 1, 2017

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