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Helping heirs and beneficiaries prepare for the inevitable

Everyone is eventually going to die. While many Illinois residents would rather not talk about their own mortality, others understand that doing so can help them execute strong estate plans that allows them to choose how their assets will be distributed when the time comes to administer their estates. Even in closely-knitted families, disagreements often arise among heirs and beneficiaries, especially if the estate owners in question did not take steps to help them prepare.

An estate plan need not be complex to involve a lot of paperwork. From bank account information to medical records or other important documents, it is essential that appropriate parties be given access to any and all records pertinent to administration of the estate. All heirs and beneficiaries should also be made aware of specific designations in a particular estate plan, such as powers of attorney or executors. 

Many families have fire escape plans in place. Those with children also often rehearse such plans to practice what to do in case a real fire should breakout. A similar rehearsal can be quite helpful regarding end-of-life incapacitation or death. Families can discuss who will carry what responsibilities if an aging parent, for instance, dies or becomes unable to speak or make decisions due to incapacitation.

Helping heirs and beneficiaries prepare ahead of time can lessen the chance of disputes arising down the line. It is also a good idea to stay closely connected to an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney, who can help overcome any legal obstacles that arise. An attorney can also periodically review an estate plan to ensure that it is kept updated.