Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe LLP, Attorneys at Law

A Commitment

to Each Client.

2 assets you should exempt from your Illinois will

Do you have a will? Congratulations if you do. You’ve taken one of the most important steps towards safeguarding your legacy and the people you care about. Without a valid will in place at the time of your demise, Illinois intestate laws would step and dictate what happens to the wealth you’ve worked hard to build. And you might never like this.

However, whereas a will allows you to distribute your assets to the people and causes you care about, not every property in your name belongs in this estate planning document. For starters, here are two assets you should never include in your Illinois will:

Assets that you co-own with other people

A will should only talk about assets that are solely owned by you. Any asset that you co-own with someone else does not belong in the will. This is especially true if such assets come with the right of survivorship clause. Such assets automatically pass on to the surviving co-owners upon your death so including them in the will isn’t necessary at all.

But what if you want someone to take up your share of the assets held under joint tenancy? Well, in this case, you may need to change the title of the asset in question during your estate planning process.

Assets that are held in a trust

A trust, just like a will, is an estate planning tool that allows you to set aside inheritances for your loved ones. The difference, however, is that whereas assets that are held in a will must go through probate, assets that are held in a trust do not. Instead, these assets are governed by the trust’s instrument. These assets automatically pass on to the designated beneficiaries upon your demise hence you do not have to include them in your will.

Having a valid will in place can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored when you pass on. Find out how you can create a will that can stand the test of time and probate.

FindLaw Network
LCA Litigation Counsel of America Fellow
ACTEC The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
My Estate and Legacy Planner