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Basic But Essential Estate Planning Steps in Illinois

 Posted on February 04, 2021 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate plan lawyerEstate planning can be a complex matter, with state and federal laws to consider, but the initial steps do not have to be complicated. In fact, almost anyone can complete an effective estate plan with the right mindset and good advice from an experienced estate planning attorney. While some estates are more complicated than others, there are basic concepts that apply to virtually every situation.

Know Your Assets

From your real estate property, to the remainder of your retirement plan, to your beloved baseball card collection, it is crucial that you know what you own before you start the estate planning process. Start by gathering detailed documents for all of your financial accounts, including bank accounts, savings bonds, and retirement accounts, as well as your real estate, vehicles, and other large assets. Then make a list of family heirlooms and property that may have value. If necessary, have items appraised so that you know how much you are leaving to each of your heirs.

Determine Who Will Inherit From Your Estate

There are many ways to determine how your assets are distributed upon your death. For example, you could lay out detailed terms of inheritance in your will, or you could establish trusts that give you greater control of the distribution and allow your assets to bypass the probate process. It is also important to determine how you will prioritize your spouse, children, grandchildren, other relatives and friends, and possibly charitable or community organizations. How you distribute your assets is up to you; just make sure you have a plan, because it can save you both time and money when meeting with your attorney.

Seek Legal Counsel

The next major step in estate planning is to schedule a consultation with a qualified estate planning attorney. Not only can your lawyer help to ensure you are following state and federal estate, probate, and tax laws, they can also discuss structuring options with you that may save your heirs the hassle and stress of probate or reduce tax obligations for your heirs. In addition, your lawyer can help you determine what type of estate planning documents you may need for your situation.

Contact a DuPage County Wills and Trusts Lawyer

If you have questions about the estate planning process in Illinois or you want to get started with your estate plan, contact a skilled Lombard, IL estate planning attorney. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.



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