Wills & Estates

It’s never pleasant to think about what will happen when you die. But, for the sake of those you care about, it is essential to have a plan in place that protects everyone you love as well as everything you have worked so hard to build throughout your life.

Estate planning, in a nutshell, is the process of creating that detailed plan and deciding how you can best execute it. Working in conjunction with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can outline your wishes for the transfer of your assets and the care of your dependent children. This important process is not reserved only for the wealthy, as many people mistakenly believe. As a matter of fact, in Illinois the court will put into effect a default will (a/k/a the “statute of descent and distribution”) unless you specify your wishes in a will of your own.

Don’t let the courts decide how your assets will be divided after your death. Call the estate planning attorneys at Thomas W. Lynch & Associates P.C. today at (708) 571-0853 to begin planning for the road ahead.


Estate Planning

Estate planning is not just for the elderly. Thomas W. Lynch & Associates P.C. helps individuals at every stage of life including:

  • Singles
  • Couples Living Together
  • Married Couples
  • Recently Divorced Individuals
  • Blended Families
  • Retirees

No matter what stage of life you are in, our step-by-step approach to comprehensive estate planning leaves no stone unturned. We’ll analyze your assets, listen to your concerns, then give you the legal tools necessary to carry out your wishes. This approach usually involves setting up one or more of the following:

  • A Will
  • A Family Trust or Living Trust
  • Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive



Taking the time to draft a thoughtful will and set up a trust shows your loved ones how much you care about their well-being even when you are no longer here. Without these essential tools, those you care about could be left in a state of confusion about how to handle your estate.

What Exactly Does a Will Do?

Your will serves three key functions. First, it specifies who gets each asset in your estate when you die. Those named in this category are called the beneficiaries. Next, it outlines who will carry out the instructions of your will. This person is called the executor. Finally, the will identifies who you nominate to care for your minor children if you have them. This person is called the guardian.

Can You Prepare Your Own Will?

There are many online legal sites that allow you to draft a will without the assistance of legal counsel. Those DIY sites might be adequate for single individuals with modest assets and no children. However, there are many benefits to having an experienced will and trust attorney handle your estate planning for you. An attorney can:

  • Ensure that your will is properly executed
  • Take steps to protect your will from challenges
  • Help minimize estate taxes and other expenses
  • Navigate complex estate issues and guardianship
  • Advise you of alternatives that might avoid expensive probate proceedings



A trust is a tool that can help you manage your assets and ensure they are distributed according to your wishes during and after your death.

The person who establishes the trust is known as the grantor. The trust holds property and assets for a named person or group known as the beneficiary. Some trusts provide that the trustee will maintain control of the trust during his or her lifetime. The grantor is usually the trustee of a living trust. For trusts that take effect after death, the grantor names a professional or trusted family friend or relative to serve as the trustee.

Do You Need a Trust?

One primary benefit of establishing a trust is to save your loved ones the cost and delay of probate court proceedings after your death. Trusts are also used to protect the assets that you leave to minor children. In some cases, a trust is a useful means of avoiding taxation.

If your net worth will be less than $100,000 at the time of your death, Illinois has a simplified probate process that may make it unnecessary for you to set up a trust. If your assets will be greater than $100,000, or if your will leaves property to beneficiaries who might still be minors at the time of your death, a trust is encouraged.

Don’t put off setting up your will and living trust another day. Thomas W. Lynch & Associates P.C. can help you create both in no time. Call (708) 571-0853 now to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. You can also complete our online request form to have someone in our office contact you.



Probate is the legal process of transferring the assets of a deceased person to his or her heirs. In Illinois, the process is supervised by the court to ensure that all valid debts and taxes are paid as well as to clarify who inherits the remaining property and assets. The probate process typically takes six months to a year to complete.

For simple estates with a net worth of less than $100,000, there is very little paperwork and no need to go to court. For more complex estates, especially those involving contentious relatives, you will need an attorney with experience in probate matters.

At Thomas W. Lynch & Associates P.C., we can help you navigate the most common issues that arise surrounding the probate process including:

  • Completing probate in a timely manner
  • Probate avoidance
  • Will contests
  • Estate debts
  • Estate taxes

You don’t have to go through the probate process alone. Call Thomas W. Lynch & Associates P.C. today at (708) 571-0853 to get the experienced legal counsel you need, or if you prefer, complete our online request form to have someone in our office contact you.