Every adult needs an estate plan

Too many Illinois residents believe that they don't need an estate plan because they don't have much of an estate or no descendants. But that is a fallacy.

Unless you are homeless and living on the street, everyone owns something of at least personal value. You have the right to determine to whom or which charity you would like to leave your worldly goods after you die.

Estate planning documents also comprise much more than just a last will and testament. For instance, there is a health care proxy, which you need to designate someone to act in your stead and make medical decisions for you once you aren't able to make them for yourself. If you don't legally name the individual yourself, your doctors will defer to your spouse or next of kin.

For some people, that is a nightmare. Perhaps you fled an abusive marriage but never formally divorced your ex. That person could be the one making the final decisions on whether to issue Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and deciding whether to remove you from life support.

Contemplating one's own mortality isn't pleasant. But taking care of these inevitable necessities now can give you peace of mind that your intentions and wishes will be carried out.

You can even include plans for your funeral or memorial service. Maybe you dread being buried and want to be cremated and your ashes scattered. You might even want to donate your body to science in search of a cure for a disease you've lived with for years. We can help you with this as well.

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