Do I Need a Lawyer to Plan My Estate?

Your estate plan matters. It matters for your peace of mind and it matters for your family’s security. Unfortunately, some people fall into a trap when it comes to estate planning. This is the trap of relying on cheap online forms and services and attempting a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. While it is true that there are thousands of informative articles online, estate planning is not like repairing a hole in your drywall.

Instead of taking the DIY approach and hoping it works out for your family, you should consult with an attorney. There are numerous reasons to do so.

  • Estate planning is complex. There are state and federal laws that impact the various wills and trusts that people frequently utilize. An estate planning attorney understands how the various laws interact with one another and can help you navigate your many options.
  • The laws are consistently in transition. With every legislative session, new laws are passed that may have a direct or indirect effect on the different estate planning options. For example, the changes to the tax code essentially doubles the Federal estate tax exemption, while the Illinois estate tax exemption remains the same. An attorney remains current with the law and can advise you on how the changes impact your current or future estate plans.
  • Estate planning is intricate. There are many legal and technical requirements to execute valid wills or to create trusts. A knowledgeable attorney understands these requirements, can manage the many moving parts of putting your plan into effect, and will get it right the first time.
  • An estate plan must fully account for taxes. I cannot understate the importance of weighing the tax implications of every available option. Proper planning can result in tremendous tax savings, especially for large estates.
  • Probate proceedings are long and expensive. Many people want to avoid probate at all costs. An estate planning attorney understands exactly what steps need to be taken for this to occur.
  • Everyone has different estates and different goals. This is perhaps the most important reason to utilize an attorney. Online articles and forms may be informative and point you in interesting directions; but an experienced attorney can listen to your unique plans and can review your specific estate. Armed with this knowledge, an attorney can provide you with customized advice and options tailored to you.

The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas

Estate planning can help give you peace of mind that your family is taken care of. Let me help you explore your plethora options so that you can make a smart, informed decision. I have over twenty years of experience in the areas of estate planning, probate, and taxation and have a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation. Contact The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 to schedule an appointment or visit our website today.

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