127 West Jefferson Avenue • P.O. Box 507 • Effingham, Illinois 62401 • Telephone: (217) 342-8060 • Fax: (217) 342-8066

200 North Main Street • Altamont, Illinois 62411 • Telephone: (618) 483-6333

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning




At McDevitt Osteen Chojnicki & Deters, we understand that after the loss of a loved one, attempting to figure out what to do next can be overwhelming.  Let our experienced attorneys and staff guide you through this process whether it is the probate of a last will and testament, the administration of a trust estate, or simply determining whether or not it is even necessary to probate a will in your case.  If there was no will or trust, we can explain the rights of heirs and how to handle the administration process.


Dale Wolff and Kirsten Osteen work with families during this difficult time to carry out the wishes of their loved one and administer estates as efficiently as possible.


Estate Planning


Your situation is unique.  Our attorneys and staff have the expertise to develop a personal estate plan to effectuate your wishes. We understand that estate planning is not only about the distribution of assets.


Estate planning is necessary to:


  • Choose a guardian to raise your minor children in the event of your death;
  • Appoint an agent under a power of attorney for health care who can carry out your wishes regarding life sustaining treatment;
  • Appoint an agent under a power of attorney for property to conduct your financial affairs.


Planning with Wills


A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a document that provides instructions for the distribution of assets and personal property at death.  A will does not change the ownership of assets during your life.  Every adult should have a last will & testament.


The contents of a will depend upon an your life circumstances. For example, parents of young children would want choose a guardian to raise their children in the event of their death and to provide for their children financially by leaving all of their assets to a children's trust. The chosen trustee can manage the assets for health, education and protection of the children until they reach a certain age.


Other clients may wish to leave assets to their adult children, to their church, to charity or to create a trust to pay for the education of their children or grandchildren.


Planning with Trusts


There are several types of Trusts that can be utilized in estate planning.  Trusts can be drafted to obtain many goals, such as avoiding probate, minimizing or avoiding estate taxes.


The contents of a trust will depend on your situation and goals.  For example, a client who owns real estate in Illinois and another state can plan utilize trust planning to avoid probate in both states.


Or perhaps, a client wishes to leave assets to a person with a disability.  Careful planning allows you to leave assets to a Supplemental Needs Trust for the benefit of a disabled person that will supplement any benefits that may be available without disqualifying your loved one for certain programs or benefits that may be available to them.

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