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Estate Planning Services

At Donald C. Stinespring & Associates, we take the time to understand your unique situation and guide you through the process, every step of the way. Some of our estate planning services include:


If you would like to begin the estate planning process, please click below to complete the intake form. 

  • Last Will and Testament: a Will is a foundational estate planning document that names an executor to your estate, gives instructions on how your property should be distributed, and designates a guardian for any minor children you may have.

  • ​Living Trust: there are several types of revocable and irrevocable trusts that can be set up for various purposes. Trusts are commonly used for purposes such as avoiding probate, limiting tax exposure, and preserving wealth for future generations.

  • Certificate of Trust – a certificate of trust is an important part of creating a living trust. It is a summary of the trust document and is often requested by financial institutions when it comes time to fund your trust.

Estate Planning is making things easy for your children (or grandchildren, beneficiaries, or other designated loved ones) when you pass. You collect various assets throughout your life that make up your estate. These may include some of the following:

  • Cars

  • Your home

  • Other real estate

  • Checking accounts

  • Savings accounts

  • 401k or simple retirement accounts

  • Investments

  • Life insurance

  • Furniture

  • Jewelry

  • Artwork

  • Collections

  • Other personal possessions

It will give you peace of mind knowing that your family will be taken care of, no matter what happens in the future – including the unexpected.

What is Estate Planning?

What is Estate Planing

Why Donald C. Stinespring & Associates is Different

At Donald C Stinespring & Associates we help you create an estate plan that works for you now and will grow with you as your family and estate grow. Our estate planning team members have kids (and grandkids) of our own, so we know how important they are, as well as how hard it is to plan for everything. We don’t want to make you feel anxious about the future.

Instead, when you finish signing your documents, you’ll feel good about the plan you’ve put into place. Our clients leave with not only a solid estate plan, but with peace of mind, while knowing that they have accomplished something important.

To learn more about our trust and estate services and how we can partner with you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 815-678-4553 or by completing the form on this page. We look forward to meeting with you!

Estate Planning FAQ's

What are the benefits of a trust?

A trust gives you greater control over your assets (i.e. on disability or death), avoids probate, keeps matters private, avoids confusion and disputes; can save substantial taxes; ajd protects assets for beneficiaries.

Do I need a will if I have a living trust?

Yes, we recommend a will to name guardians for minors or disabled family members and to pour assets over into a living trust at death (if not done during lifetime).

What is re-titling?

Titling assets so that you own them as trustee of your trust.

How do I decide who to name as fiduciary?

Pick someone who is trustworthy, follows directions, seeks help with tax and legal matters and is willing and able to share information with beneficiaries in the manner required.

Who is my trustee of my living trust?

In a declaration of trust you are the sole trustee of your living trust until you resign, become incapacitated or die. Then, the person or institution you name becomes trustee.

Can I revoke or amend my living trust or other document?

Yes, while you are competent and living, you can amend or revoke your living trust and other typical estate plan documents. However, documents which you specifically make “irrevocable” cannot typically be amended.

Estate Planning FAQ
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