The transactional attorneys at HaukOwens believe a properly crafted estate plan should distribute your estate upon your death in exactly the way that you intend and protect your assets to greatest extent possible during your life. Your estate plan should maximize the efficiency of the administration to minimize the stress on your family during what can be a difficult time. Furthermore, your estate plan should strive to reduce or eliminate every tax, fee, and court cost.
At minimum your estate plan should answer the following questions:
- Who will take care of me if I become disabled?
- What do I want that person to know about my wishes?
- Who will receive my property when I die?
- Who will manage my estate?
- Who will be named guardian of my children if I die before they are adults?
- Do I want to protect my children’s inheritance from creditors or divorce?
- How can I minimize the estate tax I will have to pay?
- How can I minimize the income tax my beneficiaries will have to pay?
At Hauk & Owens we understand that your time is valuable. We offer a free initial consultation to review your current estate plan and discuss exactly what you want your estate plan to accomplish. Prior to our first meeting we will send you a confidential client information form for you to complete. This allows us to really get to know you and your family situation before our first meeting instead of spending the entire meeting getting standard biographical information. At the conclusion of our initial meeting we will give you an estimate of how much it will cost to prepare your estate plan. In some situations we will be able to prepare your complete estate plan that same day. Our attorney will go over everything with you prior to signing your plan so that you understand exactly what your estate plan does. Most estate plans can be completed within two weeks. Please let us know if there is any reason to complete the estate plan sooner than that, as we are sometimes able to accommodate a shorter timeframe.
Some of the tools we use to craft your estate plan are:
- Powers of Attorney (healthcare and property)
- Living Wills
- Beneficiary Designations
- Transfer on Death Instruments (TODI)
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Gifts
Call us today at (217) 214-2757 to set up your FREE initial estate plan review!
Probate and Estate Administration
If you have been named as an agent under a power of attorney, executor under a will, trustee under a trust, or if your family member didn’t do any formal planning and you’re just taking charge to help, you need an experienced attorney to assist you with the administration of your loved one’s estate. In each of these situations you are acting in a fiduciary capacity so it is vitally important (both for the effective administration of the estate and because you could be held personally liable for anything done improperly) that the proper steps are taken.
At HaukOwens we represent fiduciaries (executors, trustees, guardians or agents), beneficiaries, heirs, and claimants during the administration of estates. Whether the estate is a simple transfer to a sole-heir beneficiary or a complex litigation situation, we will guide our client through the entire process and explain each step of the way. We will provide a roadmap for what steps need to be taken, when they need to be taken, and why.
We use a variety of fee structures for estate administration cases and we will be able to give you an estimate of time and costs involved at the conclusion of your free initial consultation.