How Assets Are Protected Outside Of A Will

Most people have heard of a will. But, there are other mechanisms for taking care of someone’s estate, both when they are alive and after they are gone. Two of these processes that are important to understand are guardianships and intestate succession.

At Mockaitis Law, we provide estate planning assistance for assets large and small, backed by years of experience.

What Is A Guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal relationship where a guardian acts on behalf of someone who cannot make decisions for themselves, usually a minor child or someone who is hindered by physical or mental disability. Someone who has “guardianship of the person” would make decisions regarding:

  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Necessities such as food, housing and transportation

There are also “guardianships of the estate” where the guardian makes decisions regarding finances. In the case of a minor, the guardian would manage and protect their financial assets until the minor turns 18.

A guardian can be selected either by a legal document, such as a will, or by a court. Courts tend to choose guardians who are close to the person, like a close family member.

Resolving Estate Issues Without A Will

When a person dies without a will, their property is distributed through intestate succession. This is sometimes referred to as a “descendant estate'” because intestate succession focuses on passing property to the person’s living descendants. This process follows state law meant to distribute property according to how the average person would wish, usually to a surviving spouse and children.

The best way to ensure your property passes to the people most important to you is to have a valid will. For help understanding these processes, get in touch with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Learn How We Can Help

For specific advice regarding guardianship estates or descendant estates for a loved one, contact attorney Kenneth Kugelberg Jr. at Mockaitis Law in Oswego, Illinois. Call 331-642-1515 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.