Last Will and testament document with pen

Estate Planning

What you don’t know can hurt you – Oftentimes, families have the most optimistic view of how things may turn out for themselves and for their children. While one always hopes for the best, estate planning is all about hoping for the best, but planning for the worst! One should plan for potentially negative things that could happen in life such as premature death, designating guardians for minor children, permanent or temporary disability, professional malpractice, personal injury, business disputes, misgivings between family members etc. Estate planning is the comprehensive process that allows you to discuss and consider various worse case scenarios and nominate individuals to act in charge of your estate to implement your plan.

If you do not leave a Will or Trust outlining how, when and to whom your estate should be distributed to after you die, the state of Illinois has a default Will drafted for you which will be implemented. Estate Planning is the process that allows you to take control of your own financial affairs and build a plan that protects your spouse, children and other legatees should your disability or death occur.

A team of professionals such as attorneys, tax professionals, financial advisors, investment advisors, and life insurance specialists are often needed to create and maintain a successful estate plan. Therefore, estate planning is an integrated plan that you create and periodically review and update, during your lifetime with the assistance of your financial team and a knowledgeable attorney such as SG LAW. It provides for the nomination of responsible individuals to act as trustees and agents who orderly manage and distribute your real estate, cash investments, retirement funds, and insurance proceeds for the benefit of your family.

When you contact SG LAW, you will be asked to schedule a preliminary 15-minute call so SG LAW can obtain an introduction to you and evaluate your family circumstances and your primary goals. Following that, SG LAW will request that you complete the SG LAW Client Questionnaire prior to scheduling a one-hour initial consultation.

When done properly, a good estate plan can provide you with a myriad of benefits such as:

  • Probate Avoidance Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Asset Protection Planning
  • Creditor Protection Planning
  • Disability Planning
  • Retirement Asset Planning
  • And Many More

Wills vs. Trusts: What is the difference?

A will is a legally enforceable document stating how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. It is an important component of estate planning.

A trust is another method of estate transfer—a fiduciary relationship in which you give another party authority to handle your assets for the benefit of a third party, your beneficiaries.

Probate & Trust Administration

If you have been nominated as the Trustee under a Decedent’s Trust or Testamentary Will, you will be faced with a number of important decisions.

SG LAW can assist you through the process in the event you decide to honor the Decedent or Grantor’s wishes and accept your appointment as Trustee.
Probate Administration is the court process involved in administering the financial affairs of a deceased individual (otherwise known as “Decedent”).

The goal of probate administration is to ultimately transfer assets from the Decedent to the name of the Decedent’s spouse and/or heirs pursuant to the terms of the Decedent’s Will or living trust.