Creating a comprehensive estate plan that protects you and your loved ones is one of the most important things you will do over the course of your lifetime. The attorneys and staff at the Lake County, Illinois law firm of Hedeker Law Ltd. understand how important your estate plan is to you and we would be honored to help you create it.
The History of Lake County, Illinois
Like most of the State of Illinois, the area that would eventually become Lake County was once home to Native Americans, in this case the Potawatomi Indians. Lake County was officially created by the Illinois legislature in 1839. At that time, the county seat was Independence Grove, now known as Libertyville. Just two years later, however, the county seat was moved to Waukegan, which was known as Little Fort at the time. The first county courthouse was built shortly thereafter in 1844.
During the 20th century, Lake County grew to be a largely manufacturing county. As new manufacturing jobs opened up, immigrants fled to the area. Although those immigrants were a diverse lot, a significant number of them hailed from southeastern Europe and Scandinavia, with especially large groups from Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania. Large numbers of African Americans also fled to the area during the late 19th and early 20th century as they made their escape from slavery in the south. As the City of Chicago continued to grow during the 20th century, people began to move outward into Lake County to escape the hustle and bustle of the “big city.”
Lake County, Illinois Today
Lake County is one of the “collar counties” of the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. The “collar counties” are the five counties of Illinois that border on Chicago’s Cook County. Bordering the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake County had a population of just over 700,000 residents as of the 2010 census. Lake County is the 31st richest county by per capita income with the lakefront communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Highland Park making up part of the affluent North Shore area.
Residents and visitors alike will find plenty to do in Lake County, Illinois. During the warmer months, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the county’s 200 lakes and 40 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline or spend the day hiking at the Ryerson Conservation Area, Half Day Woods, Old School Forest Preserve, Independence Grove, or Van Patten Woods. You can also listen to music at the outdoor Ravinia venue during the summer or spend a day at Six Flags amusement park. During the colder months, Key Lime Cove Indoor Waterpark will keep the kids happy or get out the skis for some cross country skiing.
Lake County offers shopping options for everyone from larger venues such as Gurnee Mills and Hawthorne Mall to the smaller boutique shops found in many of the county’s quaint downtowns. For a one of a kind experience, check out the world’s largest Hollywood car collection at the Volo Auto Museum or spend a day at the Great Lakes Naval Museum. All of this plus the “Windy City” remains a short drive away.
Hedeker Law Ltd. in the Lake County, Illinois Community
At Hedeker Law Ltd. we are proud to be part of the Lake County community. We have long believed that our clients are more than just clients. They are out family members, friends, and neighbors. With that in mind, we strive to create lifelong relationship that help make the estate planning process both easier and more productive for our clients.
One of the many reasons we feel it is so important to create lasting relationship with our clients is that estate planning should be an ongoing process. Your estate plan is not something you should create and the forget about once it is complete. In reality, your estate plan is never truly “complete” because changes in your life require corresponding changes to your plan. Your initial estate plan, for example, may consist of nothing more than a Last Will and Testament that creates a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets when you are gone. That may suffice when you are young, single, and without children; however, as you move through the various stages of your life your estate plan should move with you. Marriage and children, for instance, should prompt you to include an incapacity planning component in your estate plan as well as revisions to your existing Will. As your estate grows, you may need to add asset protection strategies along with tax and probate avoidance techniques in your estate plan as well. At some point you will start thinking about retirement. When you do, you will need to review your estate plan to determine if you need to add additional components such as Medicaid planning and funeral planning. Finally, if you have strong feelings about end of life medical treatment options, adding an advanced directive to your estate plan should be considered.
The Lake County Estate Planning Attorneys of Hedeker Law Ltd. are dedicated to creating a strong, lasting relationship with you that results in an equally strong and successful estate plan. Our goal is to help you create a plan that reflects your estate planning needs and goals both now and in the future.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding estate planning services, contact the experienced Lake County estate planning attorneys at Hedeker Law, Ltd. by calling (847) 913-5415 to schedule an appointment.