Traditional Estate Planning

What is “traditional” estate planning?

For most of us, “traditional” estate planning deals with the things that we wish we didn’t have to think about.  For example: planning for death and planning for disability.

An important note: While these objectives are considered in traditional estate planning, there are many additional issues that we address in “senior” estate planning. Read more about that here

“Traditional” estate planning is streamlining one’s assets and one’s affairs so that you can pass from your maturing years to your senior years and finally to the post-death years,  seamlessly, with the minimization of cost and taxes.

Lets look at assets. Assets can consist of bank accounts, real estate, motor vehicles, household furniture, retirement plans, life insurance, etc.  The coordination of all of these assets is essential to making sure not only that they pass pursuant to your wishes upon your death, but also are available to you during your incapacity, illness or advancing age.

Many people make the mistake of assuming that an estate plan consists only of:

  • a will
  • a revocable living trust
  • a statutory power of attorney for healthcare
  • a statutory power of attorney for property

While it is true that these are some of the common documents that we consider initially in most people’s estate planning, there are many more aspects to considered, including both tax and nontax concerns.

Here are some examples of other issues that we deal with in” traditional” estate planning:

  • What is your dispositive plan?
  • Do you wish to leave your assets to your loved ones outright, in stages, or in trust for the remainder of their lives?
  • Do you wish to build in asset protection planning for your spouse or your children from their creditors, predators or divorcing spouses?
  • What if your surviving spouse remarries someone who immediately divorces them just to obtain access to the inheritance that you just left at your death?

    (Does this sound cynical?  Maybe, but these things happen!)

  • What if  your children become divorced or bankrupt after they receive your inheritance?
  • From a tax standpoint, have you considered the impact of federal estate taxes?
  • Have you also considered the impact of Illinois estate taxes and the state estate or inheritance taxes of any other state in which you may either reside or have property?
  • Have you made arrangements to try to avoid probate, either in part or totally?
  • Have you planned for your minor children or adult disabled children?
  • Finally, if you have any charitable intentions, how are you going to accomplish them?

If your estate plan is drafted properly, all of the above should be covered.

Developing a thorough and complete estate plan is something to be guided through by a trusted professional.

Contact The Law Offices of Anthony B Ferraro, LLC at (847) 221-0154 to review your current documents and financial goals.  We are peace of mind attorneys who can assist you in determining what other options are available to you. That way you’ll know that you have done everything you can for yourself and your family, no matter what the circumstances.