Estate Planning and Probate Law
What is a will?
A will simply is a formal declaration of how you desire to have your property distributed after your death. Contrary to common belief, your property does not "go to the state" if you do not have a will. However, without a will, your property will be disposed of according to state law, which may or may not comport with how you would like it distributed.
Why should I have a will prepared?
In addition to having control of the disposition of your property, leaving a will is an indication of your thoughtfulness. Not only does it show that you thought and cared about your beneficiaries, but also that you cared enough to keep the administration of the estate free of unnecessary burdens. A will can help avoid or reduce taxes or other complications.
What is a living will?
A living will makes known your desire that your life should not be artificially postponed in the event you have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness.
What is a power of attorney for health care?
A written instrument in which you appoint someone to be able to make health care decisions for you, in the event you are unable to do so. You are generally able to specify your opinion regarding prolonging your life in the event of incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness.
What is a power of attorney for property?
A written instrument in which you appoint someone to be able to engage in business transactions for you, in the event you are unable to do so. In the event you are incapacitated, if you have a properly prepared power of attorney, your agent can continue to attend to your business and transactional matters.
What is a living trust?
A trust which is established and utilized during your life. Any assets which are transferred into your trust will not be considered part of your estate, and will thereby avoid probate for those assets. By keeping your estate small, you can sometimes reduce the expense and time involved in probating your estate. If you living trust is properly prepared, a successor trustee can attend to your financial matters. In addition, while probate documents are part of the public record, establishing a living trust affords you a measure of privacy.
We serve clients in the Illinois and Iowa Quad City area, including: Moline, Davenport, Rock Island, Bettendorf, East Moline, Silvis, Coal Valley, Le Claire, Princeton, and other areas in Rock Island County, Scott County, Mercer County, Muscatine County, Henry County, Clinton County, and Whiteside County.