People do not like to think about death; but planning for death is an important part of life. When you pass away, will your assets end up in the wrong hands? Will death taxes eat up the property your family needs to maintain a comfortable lifestyle? An experienced estate planning attorney can help you minimize the tax consequences associated with death while assuring that your property is distributed according to your wishes.
Managing financial affairs effectively requires a team approach. Together with your accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker, stock broker, and anyone else you may rely on to help protect and control your assets, an estate planning attorney is a vital member of your financial team.
Consider the Benefits of Estate Planning
If you live in Illinois and pass away without having made a Will, state law determines who will inherit your assets. You need a Will if you want to control the distribution of your property after you die. You also need the kind of sound advice and individualized planning that you will not receive from a Fill-in-the-Blank Will kit. Yet estate planning involves more than making a Will. An estate planning attorney can help you answer important questions, including:
- How can I minimize the tax consequences of property transfers after my death?
- If my spouse and I both die, who will raise our children?
- Should I create a trust to protect the assets I leave to my children or other family members?
- Who will make decisions about my finances if I am in a coma or otherwise incapacitated?
- Do I want to be kept alive by artificial means if I will never recover consciousness?
- Who should I name as beneficiaries of my life insurance policies and retirement plans?
“Only a qualified trusts and estates lawyer can interpret the myriad laws bearing on property rights, taxes, wills, probate, and trusts.”~ American Bar Association
Providing a Full Range of Estate Planning Services
Fournier Law Firm, Ltd. is pleased to assist you with all of your estate planning needs, from drafting simple Wills to preparing complex trust documents. We serve our clients’ estate planning needs with sophisticated estate and tax planning services. With more than 35 years practicing trusts and estates law, Fournier Law Firm makes use of our knowledge and experience to protect our clients’ wealth while assuring that all end-of-life issues are resolved according to their wishes.
Our estate planning services include, but are not limited to:
- Helping clients create a comprehensive estate plan
- Assuring that beneficiaries of life insurance policies, IRAs, and retirement plans are designated in accordance with your estate plan
- Advising clients regarding options that will minimize estate and inheritance taxes
- Preparation of Wills and Codicils
- Formation and drafting of Family Trusts
- Preparation of revocable trusts to provide for asset management before your death
- Preparation of irrevocable trusts, generation-skipping trusts and other sophisticated trust documents
- Drafting a Durable Power of Attorney that will take effect if you become incapacitated
- Drafting a Living Will, Advance Health Care Directives, and other documents that make your end-of-life choices known to physicians and family members
- Helping you nominate guardians to care for your children if both parents die
- Helping you identify and designate people you trust to act as executors and trustees
Our goal is to meet all of your estate planning needs so you can be confident during your life that you have provided for your family after your death.