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How much do your heirs and beneficiaries know about finances?

When an Illinois resident executes an estate plan, there is often a last will and testament included. An estate owner might name heirs and beneficiaries to inherit certain assets after he or she has passed. If those so-named are not at all educated about financial issues, they may feel confused or overwhelmed about the probate process or other issues related to their inheritance.

This is why it pays to educate one’s heirs, not only about the general concepts of finances but also regarding the financial affairs of the estate or assets they will inherit. Many people make the mistake of relying on someone else to handle all their financial issues. While this may seem convenient and less stressful at times, it can leave a person at a great loss for knowing what to do at some point, especially if the person who took care of such things is no longer here to do so. 

While it is best if a knowledge of financial issues is acquired at a young age, it is not uncommon for people to have little understanding of such things when they are adults, and more specifically, when they are named as heirs or beneficiaries in someone’s estate. Leaving a financial legacy for a loved one is a highly personal matter. Estate planning is a valuable tool, especially because a person can customize a plan to meet his or her specific needs and goals.

It sometimes happens that heirs and beneficiaries run into obstacles due to someone disputing a particular issue in an estate plan, such as claiming that the estate owner was not of sound mind when he or she signed documents. If this occurs, it can take weeks, even months, to resolve the issue in court. It is helpful to connect with an attorney who is well-versed in Illinois estate laws for support in protecting one’s rights and interests regarding matters of probate.