Living Wills

Living Wills

Living wills are traditional legal document that will include the follow: names of guardians for minor children, name of the person who will be the executor of your estate and assets after you die, and names of the people you wish to receive your estate after your death.

Assets, which are in your name at the time of your death will be subject to your will. There are some exceptions such as bank accounts and securities, which are designated to beneficiaries, some annuities, tax-deferred retirement plans, and life insurance policies. These assets will pass directly to beneficiaries and will not be included in living wills.

In addition, some co-owned assets will pass directly to surviving co-owners regardless of the instructions in a living will. Assets, which have been transferred to into a revocable living trust and will be distributed through this trust instead of a will.

For some people a Illinois Statutory Will could be sufficient. Sample will forms may be printed from the State Bar website. However, keep in mind that you must create your will according to Illinois law, failure to do will invalidate the whole will. You must discuss state laws with qualified attorneys.

Revocable living trusts

A revocable living trust is a legal document, which can in some cases, be a substitute for wills. A revocable living trust assets will be put into a trust and will be administered for your benefit during your lifetime. They will be transferred to beneficiaries after your death without the aid of court involvements.

Most individuals will name themselves as a trustee in charge of managing their own assets. Naming yourself as trustee, means you may remain in control of your assets during your lifetime. You may change or revoke the terms of your trust at anytime if you are still competent.

In the trust agreement you will also name the person you wish to take over as your trustee and manage your assets in the event you become unable to. The successor will also take over and the distribution and management of assets after your death.

Living trusts do not, however, remove the need for wills. Generally, you will need a will called a pour over will in order to cover the assets, which have not been transferred into a trust.

It is recommended that you consult with qualified estate planning attorneys to help with creating a trust estate planning documents, and living wills. You must keep in mind that the selection of your trustee is extremely vital. The trustee will be managing your assets but will not be automatically subject to court supervision.


A probate is a legal and court process in which property of a deceased person will be transferred to either persons whom he or she wanted to give the property or their heirs. To start the probate process for your estate you must file a petition with the Clerk of Court’s office and ask for a hearing with a judge. Estates of heirs, minors, and disabled all start with petitions.

In the state of Illinois, decedent of estates is more than $100,000 will need to be probated. Probate of a decedent’s estate in Illinois will take 6 months because state laws gives creditors time to file claims against the estate of decedents.