IL Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, May 30, 2017




This reminds me of the television public service announcement, “Do you know where your children are?” Every night at 10pm this question was asked all across the country as a public service announcement for parents.  This important question made parents stop their busy lives for that moment and do a mental check.  Are they home?  Do I know where they are?  Are they safe?  Then parents were back to what they were doing.  Crisis averted.


Same is true with your estate documents.  Here is our public service announcement for our estate planning clients.    


If you completed a Trust with our office, it is important that you know the locations of the following?


Your Red Estate Planning Binder.  This Binder contains copies or duplicate originals of all of your estate planning documents as well as all of the organizational items and the assets in your estate plan.  This Binder should be kept at home in an easily accessible place. 


Your “safe documents”.  When you signed your documents, you were given a manilla envelope that contained all of your original documents including your original Trust and Last Will.  These documents should be in a safe at home or in your safe deposit box. 


Why are these 2 locations important? 


Upon disability, your successor trustee will need to get to your Red Binder to make the transition to the successor trustee as efficiently as possible.  Time and time again, this process is made difficult because a successor trustee cannot find the binder.  Not only should you know where the Binder is, but your successor trustee should too.


Upon your death, your successor trustee will need to file your Will.  If they cannot find the documents, it only makes the administration of the trust take that much longer. 


It is better to find these documents now than in a crisis.  One reason you completed an estate plan was to make the process after your disability or death as easy as possible for your beneficiaries and loved ones.  Not having these two locations known and documented causes undue pressure, frustration and anxiety for your loved ones in an already stressful situation.  


So this is your moment to stop and do a quick check to avert a crisis.  Is your Binder at home? Do you have your safe documents in a safe deposit box or a safe at home? Does your successor trustee know where to find both? 


The Law Offices of Stephen Sutera recommends comprehensive estate reviews every 3-5 years.  If you need to schedule a review appointment or if you have looked and do not know the locations of both sets of documents, please contact the Oak Lawn office at 708-857-7255.

Archived Posts


With two offices in Oak Lawn and Oak Brook, Stephen M. Sutera assists clients throughout Cook County, DuPage County and Will County IL including Chicago, Hometown, Barrington, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Chicago Ridge, Darien, Downers Grove, Evergreen Park, Geneva, Worth, Bridgeview, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Midlothian, Willow Springs, Oak Forest, Orland Park, La Grange, Brookfield, Berwyn, Tinley Park, Hinsdale, Villa Park, Clarendon Hills, Westchester, Westmont, Lombard, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Berkeley, Downers Grove, Fox Valley, Glen Ellyn, Willowbrook, Aurora, Addison, Lisle, Forest Park, Bensenville, Wheaton, River Forest, Itasca, Shorewood, Frankfort, Mokena, Naperville, Crest Hill, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Bollingbrook, Schaumburg, Channahon and Woodridge.

© 2020 Law Offices of Stephen Sutera | Disclaimer
4927 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
| Phone: 708-857-7255
2021 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523
| Phone: 630-396-6800 | 708-857-7255

Estate Planning | Advanced Estate Planning | Asset Protection | Pet Trusts | Special Needs Planning | Probate / Estate Administration | Elder Law | Business Law | | DocuBank | Staff Certifications | Legacy Plan | Healthcare Guides | Our Unique Process

FacebookLinked-In Company

Attorney Website Design by
Zola Creative