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Estate Planning Questions | Preparing for the Future

If you’re looking at creating an estate plan, you likely have some questions regarding the process. Fortunately, the Crosby Law Firm is here to offer guidance and clarify any concerns you may have.

Continue reading to have your estate planning questions answered.

Table of Contents:

Estate Planning FAQs

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is an undervalued process that you may not want to think about, but is nevertheless important. Estate planning is when you arrange how all of your assets will be distributed, and to whom, after your death.

There are many assets you may include in your estate. Some examples include real estate, personal property, investments, and bank accounts.

There are various documents and legal processes involved in estate planning, as well, including wills, trusts, and probate. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you complete the necessary steps to ensure your belongings are distributed properly following your death.

What Is an Estate Planning Lawyer?

An estate planner, or estate planning attorney, is a licensed law professional who specializes in probate court and organizing estates. They understand the state and federal laws that affect every aspect of your estate, including disbursement, taxation, and transfer.

Estate planning can be a complex process. If you do it by yourself, you may miss vital steps and have a less-than-ideal estate plan in place. However, when you work with our team at the Crosby Law Firm, you can rest assured your estate plan will be sound and complete.

We’ll help you navigate the details and financial complexities of planning your estate. This includes everything from aiding you in establishing powers of attorney to choosing a suitable trust.

What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

An estate planning attorney specializes in helping clients prepare for the management and distribution of their assets after death, as well as making arrangements for potential incapacity. They draft legal documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. They also offer advice on how to minimize taxes and settle an estate in the most efficient manner.

Your lawyer will guide you through the entire estate planning process. This includes helping you through a number of complicated steps, such as:

At the Crosby Law Firm, we guide clients through estate planning in Illinois to ensure their wishes are fulfilled and their heirs are protected. Contact us to learn more about our services.

What Information Do You Need for Estate Planning?

Estate planning documents can include 401(K) plans, life insurance policies, wills, and more. You’ll also need to gather a list of your assets, beneficiaries, debts you owe, investments, cash and bank accounts, titles, property deeds, digital assets, etc.

Making sure you have every piece of documentation necessary to build a successful estate plan is extremely important. Fortunately, the Crosby Law Firm helps clients identify and organize everything they need during the process.

What Makes Up an Estate Plan?

There are many things that make up an estate plan. For example, yours can include your will, trust agreements, powers of attorney, beneficiary designations, a 401(K) plan, an IRA, etc.

Outside agreements and legal documents, an estate plan can also include property, bank accounts, stocks, cars, and anything else you own.

Is Estate Planning Tax Deductible?

Estate planning costs, in general, are not tax-deductible. This includes fees for drafting a will, trust, or other estate documents. However, certain aspects of estate planning might have tax implications.

For example, if your estate plan involves setting up trusts or other financial strategies to manage your estate’s tax burden, some related expenses could potentially be deductible. It’s always best to consult a legal professional for advice specific to your situation.

What is the Purpose of Making an Estate Plan?

The primary purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after death. It helps in avoiding probate, reducing estate taxes, and ensuring that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance in the manner you intended.

An estate plan can also provide directions for your care if you become incapacitated. This allows you to make decisions about your health and finances in advance. This planning is crucial for managing and protecting your estate both during your life and after your passing.

Who Needs Estate Planning?

Estate planning is important for almost everyone, regardless of the size of their estate. It’s a common misconception that only wealthy individuals need estate plans. In reality, anyone who has assets, children, or specific preferences for their healthcare and financial affairs should consider estate planning.

This process ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. It can also provide specific instructions for managing your affairs if you become unable to do so. Estate planning is a proactive step for anyone who wants to ensure their legacy and provide for their loved ones.

What is Portability in Estate Planning?

Portability in estate planning refers to a provision in U.S. federal estate tax law. It allows a surviving spouse to use any unused federal estate tax exemption of their deceased spouse. This means that if one spouse does not use up their entire estate tax exemption, the remainder can be transferred to the surviving spouse.

This can effectively increase the amount the couple can pass on to their heirs without incurring federal estate taxes. Portability is a valuable tool for married couples in minimizing their estate tax liability.

What is the Role of an Executor in Estate Planning?

The executor, also known as a personal representative, plays a crucial role in estate planning and administration. This person is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased as outlined in their will.

The executor’s duties include gathering the deceased’s assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. They must manage this process efficiently and in accordance with the law.

The executor may be your attorney, business partner, spouse, friend, family member, or other designated party.

The Crosby Law Firm | Illinois Estate Planning

Estate planning can be an overwhelming and time consuming process. This is why our compassionate, dedicated legal team at the Crosby Law Firm is here to help. Whether you want to discuss estate tax planning strategies or update your beneficiaries, our lawyers can guide you through all the necessary steps.

Having an estate plan in place gives you peace of mind for the future. Contact us to schedule an initial free consultation. You can rely on our estate planning attorneys in Rockford, IL for guidance and trusted legal advice.

Call us now to get the legal advice you need.(815) 397-2006

Client Testimonials

Very thorough and professional. Staff is detail oriented, kind and compassionate. Handled my case quickly, saving me thousands of dollars. 10/10 would definitely hire again.

Denny Sanders


Client Testimonials

The Crosby Law Firm, specifically Danielle Burza- Smith helped me with my landlord and estate planning issues. Danielle explained everything really well! Would definitely recommend!

Staci Donald


Client Testimonials

Really good firm !!! Everyone there has made me feel welcome and when talking to attorney I feel like I’m talking to a friend. Staff is polite and very accommodating not to mention they always answer all of my questions and have never made me feel degraded because I don’t understand legal lingo like another firm did to me. Highly recommended !!!

Nicole Almond


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I didn’t have to wait long to be seen. The staff was very friendly. I’m confident that they can handle my problem.

Don Kristofek


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