Law Offices of Sawyier & Williams LLP
Chicago Illinois Estate Planning Lawyers
* Asset protection
* Trusts and estates
* Estate planning
* Estate administration
* Business law
* Tax planning
* Intellectual property
* Healthcare law
* Commercial litigation

You have worked hard for many years building your estate. Upon your death, what will happen to all of your hard-earned money? The Law Offices Of Sawyier & Williams, LLP can help you determine the best way to transfer your assets before and after death to ensure that the people you want to get your money receive as much as possible, in the exact manner you desire.

A will as part of the estate plan

Every estate plan should include a will. If the value of the estate is small, then a simple will may suffice to transfer your assets. If the value of the estate is larger and real estate is involved, it is probably better to have your assets held in trust and have a pour-over will as a back-up. This can accomplish many different goals, such as avoiding probate, lowering estate taxes, and directing the distribution of your property upon your death. If you die with assets outside of the trust, the pour-over will directs the assets to pour into the trust and be distributed in accordance with the trust’s directions.

In an Illinois estate, if all the personal estate passed by the will has a gross value of less than $100,000, then a small estate affidavit can be used to transfer that property—but not real property—outside of probate. In an Indiana estate, this same procedure can transfer both personal property and real property outside of probate, if the net value of the entire probate estate is less than $50,000.


There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be altered during the life of the grantor (the person who creates the trust). The assets held in a revocable trust at the decedent’s death are subject to the estate tax. Conversely, an irrevocable trust generally cannot be altered after you create it. The assets held in an irrevocable trust at the decedent’s death are not generally subject to the estate tax.

For larger estates, our firm has experience in using valuation discounts and other tax-advantaged gifting strategies allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. We use specialized trusts and limited liability entities to accomplish this goal.

Executors and administrators

While our firm can help you develop an estate plan, we also assist executors and administrators in the probate process after a person dies. Probate is the judicial proceeding required to transfer title to the deceased’s heirs or beneficiaries under a will. If you are named as the executor by the terms of the will or would like to become the administrator of the estate of a family member who did not have a will, our firm can help you to become appointed by the probate court. We can also assist you in all subsequent probate court matters and procedures until the closing of the estate.

Law Offices of Sawyier & Williams LLP
205 N Michigan Ave #2600
Chicago IL 60601
Tel: 888 213-9120
Fax: 312 856-9743
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