September Newsletter


Do You Have An Estate Plan?


I am sure you have heard that you need a will or a trust for an estate plan. But it is often a task that is put off. Here are some true stories that may encourage you make your estate plan a priority.

Aretha Franklin died without a will or trust. Her four sons have filed as interested parties. Her niece has asked the court to appoint her as a personal representative of the estate. Under Michigan law, if an unmarried person dies without a will, his or her assets are divided equally among any children. A trust would have expedited things and kept them out of probate. The lack of a trust means that it is likely that the estate information will become public and the costs of the estate will be higher.

Prince died without a will. He died in April 2016 and it was May 2017 before a judge declared Prince’s six siblings to be his heirs. More than 45 people came forward to try and claim Prince’s estate, valued at over $200 million.

Abraham Lincoln also died without a will.


According to Forbes.com, people dying without a will is much more common than most people realize. Some estimates place the number of adult Americans without a will at more than 55 percent.


An Estate Plan Benefits Both You and Your Family

With an estate plan you get to determine who will receive your assets, who will manage and distribute those assets, and how the expenses will be paid. A typical estate plan includes a will or a trust and powers of attorney. In Illinois, if a person dies without a will or trust, their wishes do not matter after their death. An estate plan is not just for the wealthy. Even those of us who don’t have great wealth can benefit from creating an estate plan.

Benefits include:

  • It ensures your wishes are followed after your death.
  • It is a written document that states your wishes when you are ill and after you pass away.
  • It also makes things easier for your family when you pass away because it can minimize family disputes.
  • It can help avoid probate, which is the court process for an estate. Avoiding probate can save both time and money and helps maintain privacy.
  • Taxes may be reduced or eliminated
  • Assets are passed quickly and privately.

If you would like more information on an estate plan,I am happy to answer any questions.


http://files.constantcontact.com/3f1f8f11701/1c73c8c1-0fd4-4cca-b1f5-73993b583364.jpg I serve clients in the south and western suburbs and am happy to meet in a convenient location, be it my office, your office, or a location near you for your convenience. If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact me at (708) 839-9622 or by email: kvanderwarren@outlook.com

Thank you for your business and support. We look forward to working with you and hearing from you if the need arises.

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