Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Discusses Essential Planning Steps

estate planning, Naperville estate planning 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.

As an experienced estate planning attorney, I take pride in helping my clients plan for the future. While some estates are more complicated than others, there are a basic concepts that apply to virtually every situation.

Know What You Own

From your beloved baseball card collection to real estate and the remainder of your retirement plan, it is crucial that you know what you own before you start the estate planning process. Start by gathering detailed documents on financial accounts (i.e. bank accounts, savings bonds, retirement accounts, etc.), real estate, vehicles, and other large assets or monetary savings. 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 Gets What

There are many ways to determine who will receive which of your assets upon your death. You could give more of your assets to children, and then leave a smaller amount to grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Alternatively, you could choose to leave more to your grandchildren and a smaller amount to your adult children. Another option would be to give more to a child or extended family member who has remained close or helped to care for you in your golden years. How you distribute your assets is entirely up to you; just make sure you know what will go to whom because it can save you both time and money when meeting with your attorney.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Attorney

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 tax laws, they can discuss structuring options with you that may save your heirs the hassle and stress of probate. An attorney may also have solutions that can reduce the tax load 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 to get started with your estate plan, contact a skilled estate planning attorney in Naperville. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm today.

 

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