location123 W. Washington St., Suite 220, Oswego, IL 60543

Free consultations


Oswego Estate Planning LawyerThe news is full of stories of terrible car accidents and other tragedies. These stories serve as a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and a severe injury or illness can occur to anybody at any time.

A living will is an estate planning document that allows a person to make decisions about their medical care in the event that they are incapacitated. For example, a living will can be used to direct doctors on the medical interventions they should take if you are in a coma or vegetative state.

Incapacitation planning can be an emotional process because it requires us to consider the possibility that we could be unable to communicate our medical preferences. However, living wills are an essential estate planning tool that puts the decision-making power in your hands – regardless of what the future holds.


Kendall County Estate Planning LawyerA last will and testament is usually associated with the distribution of assets after a person's death. While instructions for asset distribution is an essential feature of any will, it is not the only purpose a will serves. A will also allows you to designate a guardian (or guardians) for minor children in the event that both parents pass away before the children are adults.

The designation of a guardian or guardians is an extremely important task, but it is one that many parents tend to put off. Understandably, it can be upsetting to think about who you would want to raise your children if you and the child's other parent pass away. However, it is still essential to make a decision. Without a designated guardian, the court will decide who raises your children, and this may not align with your wishes or expectations.

How to Choose the Right Guardian for Your Children

When selecting a guardian for minor children in your will, there are several factors to consider. It is important to select someone who has similar values and beliefs as you do, and who will prioritize the children's best interests. Consider whether the guardian lives in a place that you would want your child to grow up in and has enough financial stability to provide for their needs. Ask yourself, is this person emotionally and physically prepared for the task of raising a child? Is he or she willing to take on this responsibility? You may also want to consider appointing a backup guardian in case the first choice is unable to act as guardian.


Kendall County Will and Trust LawyerGiving to charity through an estate plan allows a person to leave a lasting impact beyond their own lifetime. Charitable trusts are one of the most powerful and effective estate planning tools for those who want to give back to those in need. A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust that provides tax benefits for both the donor and the charity receiving the funds. If you are interested in giving money or other assets to charity, work with an estate planning lawyer who can provide the guidance you need.

Basics of Charitable Trusts in Illinois

When you create a charitable trust, it must be in writing and must meet the criteria set by Illinois law. It must also meet the qualifications of a charitable organization, which means that it must have an independent board to oversee investments, spending, and donations. The trust should specify the types of charities that can receive funds from it, as well as any restrictions for those contributions.

Benefits of Charitable Trusts

Charitable trusts offer tax breaks for the donor. The donor is entitled to deductions on their income tax return for any contributions made through the trust. In addition, since the funds are given directly to charity, there are no capital gains taxes due when the funds are distributed from the trust.


Kendall County Estate Planning LawyerIt is important for everyone to have a last will and testament. A will allows you to determine exactly how your assets are distributed to loved ones after you pass away. Furthermore, having your wishes established in writing prevents family members and other loved ones from having to guess how you would want asset distribution handled.

Unfortunately, even the most detailed will cannot completely eliminate the chances of someone being upset regarding the will’s directives. Family members may feel that they were given an unfair share of your estate or otherwise disagree with the decisions you have made. They may contest the will in court, claiming that the will is not valid and should be thrown out.

If you are worried about people contesting your will after your death, one option you have in Illinois is a “no contest” clause.


oswego estate planning lawyerGenerally, leaving behind no will (intestacy) is a poor idea. Even if the people who ultimately inherit from you under intestacy law are the people you would have wanted to inherit from you, not having a will or a trust that controls your estate property is going to make things more difficult for them. It is not easy to pass an intestate estate through the probate courts. There is a high level of court supervision involved in this process, and this can slow things down significantly. It could take a year or more in some cases before your surviving family members can claim anything that belonged solely to you. Intestacy is meant to be the “default” estate plan. It is designed to match what the state thinks you probably would have wanted but is rife with imperfections. If you do not already have an estate plan, the time to speak to an attorney is now. 

Understanding Illinois Intestacy Code

Any portion of your estate that is subject to probate will be distributed - eventually - according to the laws of intestacy. These laws are meant to prioritize your closest living relatives, but cannot take into account the nuances of your family’s relationships and needs. 

Generally, if you leave behind a spouse and descendants, your spouse will inherit half your estate, and your descendants will split the other half. Usually, this means that half will be divided among your children. However, if one of your children predeceased you but left a grandchild, the grandchild will inherit the share that would have been their parents. If you are already confused, you are not alone. 

Back to Top