Estate Planning

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

No matter how small your estate is, by planning ahead you ensure that your assets pass to the people you want, in the way you want, and when you want. Oana will help you through the planning process to make it smooth and efficient. 

Estate planning also allows you to save as much as possible on taxes, court costs, and attorney’s fees. Failure to plan your estate exposes your family and loved ones to extra court or administration costs, unnecessary taxes or disputes among heirs, thus wasting your estate. 

Should you become incapacitated, having an estate plan ensures your chosen agent is able to handle your personal and financial affairs, without court involvement.

Basic planning includes at a minimum the following documents:

Powers of Attorney for Property and Health that allow for authority to be passed on to chosen individuals in order to have personal and financial affairs taken care of during incapacity, disability or long absences.

Will — ensures that all assets titled in the individual’s name will be either managed and distributed after death or poured-over into the trust, if a trust agreement was executed. A will contains provisions regarding designations of caregivers (guardians) for children who are minors or disabled.

Trust — (not required but recommended) allows the distribution of assets to take place in accordance with your personal instructions, during your life and at death, and avoids probate court. It is also a private document.

The federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions vary annually, and they are adjusted for inflation. The State of Illinois has its own estate tax exemption, limited to $4,000,000.00. Asset protection and tax reduction planning ensure that estates larger than $4,000,000.00 save on Illinois estate tax, and estates larger than the federal estate tax exemption save on federal estate tax.

If you have questions about estate planning, or would like to schedule an appointment with Oana to go  through specific details of your case, please click here.