Our Unique Process

The Law Offices of Stephen Sutera, P.C., has developed a unique process to design and maintain an estate plan and elder advice.  Our goal is to assist our clients in controlling the assets that they have accumulated for their loved ones. 

It has been our experience that many executed estate plans can fail to function in a manner which is consistent with the client’s desires.  An estate plan that functions appropriately is one that meets your expectations during your lifetime, in case of your incapacity, and upon your death.  We have an appreciation that our clients have worked extremely hard for the assets that they have accumulated and our clients have spent a lot of effort in attempting to teach their loved ones stewardship with regard to their family and assets.  When clients have estate plans that do not function correctly, we have observed that their estates have shrunk in the following areas:

  • Improper management of assets during disability.
  • Improper protection of the client’s assets, exposing these assets to creditors.
  • Lack of coordination of their estate plan with their other advisors, such as their financial advisors and accountants.
  • Improper decisions and management with regard to medical decisions.
  • Higher administration expenses in case of death.
  • Unnecessary estate taxes.
  • Loss of inherited dollars as a result of the divorces by loved ones.
  • Assets improperly distributed to loved ones who are not prepared to manage assets.
  • Loss of government benefits for loved ones.

Are you facing any of these issues?

In order to take action to avoid these issues, the Law Offices of Stephen Sutera, P.C., has developed a process to help clients create a comprehensive customized estate plan that functions to meet the objectives of the client and functions to avoid the issues described above.  In the process of completing this plan, it is our goal to establish a strong attorney-client relationship to provide long-term support. 

Step 1 is to work in a counseling-oriented environment.  Estate planning is a process and it is not just a piece of paper.  Estate planning is more than just word processing.  The true value of the counseling process is to uncover the needs of your family and to design a plan to meet these needs.  Understanding the estate plan that you have completed is extremely important in this counseling process.  In this counseling process, you will share information with the attorney about your life, your concerns and the lives of those you desire to provide for in your plan.  Only after discussing your desires with the attorney, along with the assets that you have accumulated, can a design be developed to meet your needs.  It is also extremely important to educate us about other professionals who are involved in your life, since we will attempt to coordinate our planning with these other professionals.  In this design process, you will learn a variety of planning options and will have the ability to intelligently choose the options that best meet your goals and desires.  Through this interactive counseling process your design is developed, along with an explanation of the method to implement this design.

Step 2 is to participate in the execution of your estate plan.  In most instances, the meeting to execute your estate plan will last up to three hours.  We are willing to spend the time to make sure that you have an understanding that your design was completed in the manner that we discussed in the design meeting.  It is extremely important that you have an understanding of the estate plan in order to comprehend how it affects the long-term legacy which you are leaving for your loved ones.  This understanding will further lead to a long-term commitment to update your design based on changes that will occur throughout your life and the lives of your loved ones. 

Step 3 is to have a follow-up meeting after you have executed your documents in order to verify that you have utilized the tools to make your plan function.  This meeting will involve a review of a variety of organizational items, along with the verification of the funding of your trust.  By properly funding your trust and completing the organizational items, you are now creating an efficient and effective method to manage your estate. 


“It is unwise to pay too much, but is worse to pay too little.  When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all.  When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.  The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it cannot be done.  If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

 - John Ruskin, English philosopher 1819-1900

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

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