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A Will is a legal document that outlines who receives your assets after your death. If done correctly, it clearly spells out your wishes concerning the distribution of the assets you leave behind. If needed, it can also outline the desired level of care for your minor children.

Because it’s likely that no legal document will resolve every issue that comes up after your death, wills tend to vary in how effective they are, which depends on the type of will. Below are some main points of what you need to know about these vital documents.

  • A will defines your wishes regarding care of your children.
  • A will defines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after your death.
  • If you fail to prepare a will, it will typically leaves decisions about your estate in the hands of judges or state officials. That could also cause family strife.
  • It is possible to prepare a valid will yourself, but it’s wise to have the document witnessed. This will decrease the likelihood of successful legal challenges later.
  • To be ensure that you have everything in order, it’s wise to have your will prepared by a trusts and estates attorney.
  • A will is not just for the wealthy.
  • A will is not just for those with complicated assets.


  • You get to clearly define who gets your assets. You get to decide who gets what and how much.
  • You will be able to keep your assets out of the hands of people you don’t want to have them (such as an estranged relative).
  • You get to identify who will care for your children. Without having a will in place, the care of your children will be at the mercy of the court system.
  • It will be quicker and easier for your heirs to gain access to your assets.
  • You can make plans to save your estate money on taxes. You will be able to elect to give gifts and charitable donations, which can also help to offset the estate tax.


  • Asset: An item that has value. Can be sentimental value or monetary value.
  • Distribution: To divide something into shares to be given out.
  • Ensure: To make sure or to secure.
  • Estrange: To make unfriendly, to have unfriendly relations.

More Questions? Contact us today:

Williams, Williams, & Bembenek P.C. is fully licensed Central Illinois law firm equipped to provide you with all the Estate Planning services you need for peace of mind. The law firm has provided guardianship and conservatorship for their clients in the Peoria Tri-County and surrounding areas for over 50 years.

While no one wants to think about their own death or disability, creating an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your money and family finances. Proper estate planning puts you in charge of your finances and can also relieve your loved ones of the expenses, delays and frustration that come with managing your financial affairs when you die or become disabled.

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