Estate Planning Toolbox

Most people need an attorney to draw up their will. An attorney can also advise you whether you need a trust, and they can draft Powers of Attorney that are tailored to your needs. Here are three resources that may help you find an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

Small Estate Affidavit

If an estate is less than $100,000 and doesn’t include any real estate, the heirs can either streamline or avoid probate. Check Illinois Legal Aid for more information. 

Power of Attorney for Property

You can complete a Power Of Attorney for Property yourself, using the statutory form provided by your state. For Illinois, download the statutory form using the following link:

Long term care insurance

Read about the likelihood of older adults needing long term care, and how long that care lasts on average at https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need. Genworth has done annual surveys around the country about the cost of long term care. Search for the cost of your care in the most recent data set (2020 as of Nov. 15, 2021) at https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html.

For Medicaid rules regarding eligibility rules for income and assets, go to https://www.medicaidplanningassistance.org/medicaid-eligibility-illinois/.

Advance Directives

There are three types of advance directives. Illinois provides forms that you can use for each one. You can read about each type of advance directive and download the forms (see the tab that says FORMS) on the same webpage at https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes/advance-directives.html.

  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare
    • This document requires one witness. It does not have to be notarized.
  • Living Will
    • You can write your own Living Will if you prefer. But however you create it, it must be signed by two witnesses.
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate/Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment
    • This is a doctor’s order, and must be signed by you, your doctor, and a witness.
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