The descent and distribution laws of your state provide every resident with an estate plan. For a married couple that law gives 50% to the surviving spouse and 50% to the children. If you want your estate to be distributed in a different manner than the way the written law dictates, then you need a customized estate plan.
You customize your estate plan using a will or a trust. A will costs less, but usually requires probate which is more expensive than a trust. Your distribution will be made a public record in the county probate court. If used properly, a trust can avoid probate.
Tax law changes have eliminated taxation as a concern for estates under 4 million dollars. While the federal estate tax exemption is $5.34 million, Illinois decoupled from the federal exemption and starts taxing estates at $4 million. The best way to get started is to schedule an appointment to discuss your unique situation.