Estate Planning Services in the Chicago Area

Helping you plan for your family’s future

Unfortunately, many people in Chicago put off estate planning until it is too late. Others put an estate plan in place but do not update it, allowing it to become confusing and irrelevant as their life changes. At Downs Law Offices, we enthusiastically advocate estate planning and the peace of mind and security that a sound estate plan can provide. With more than 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys have helped people of all financial conditions put into place estate plans that accomplish their goals. Whether you have never had an estate plan or simply want your existing plan reviewed and updated, our team of lawyers can put their experience to work for you.

Components of an estate plan

While every estate plan is different, our Chicago attorneys can use several tools to accomplish your goals:

  • Wills - A will is the centerpiece of most estate plans. It appoints an executor to manage your estate and tells that person how you want your assets distributed.
  • Trusts - Trusts can be created separately or as part of your will. They can be used to manage estate tax liability, transfer property to friends and family while still reserving some control over it, protect assets from long-term care expenses and more.
  • Powers of appointment - A power of appointment gives another person the right to decide how a portion of your property will be distributed. These powers are usually conferred through a will and can be general - exercised in favor of anyone - or special - limited as to who can receive your property.
  • Powers of attorney, living wills and other surrogates - These documents nominate who will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. They can allow your family members to act on your behalf without the need to obtain a guardianship in court.

Adjusting your plan for major life changes

Even a good estate plan needs management. You should have an attorney review your plan periodically to adjust for changes in the law and in your circumstances. Moreover, you should always review your plan after any major life event, such as the purchase of a home, the birth of a child or the dissolution of marriage. You will nearly always want to change the beneficiaries of your estate plan following divorce. Moreover, the changes to your assets following equitable distribution usually require some adjustment of your plan. Our attorneys can help you adjust an existing estate plan to fit your new life and accomplish your new goals.

Having an updated estate plan means knowing your family will be taken care of if something should happen to you. Our attorneys at Downs Law Offices have proudly helped people throughout the Chicago area achieve peace of mind by creating and updating thorough estate plans to meet their needs.

Peace of mind for you and your family

If you want to create an estate plan or if you would like to have your existing plan reviewed, call Downs Law Offices at 312-781-1963 or contact us online to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. Our office offers onsite parking and convenient access to public transit and is centrally located on the Loop.