Vanilla simplifies estate planning in Illinois by helping you organize and visualize every client’s complete financial picture.

Illinois Estate Planning Software

Estate advisory platform for Illinois estate planners, advisors, and attorneys

Vanilla simplifies estate planning in Illinois by helping you organize and visualize every client’s complete financial picture.

Illinois Estate Planning Documents

Vanilla is the most complete estate planning software for financial planners and advisors in Illinois

Invite your clients

Advisors invite clients to create estate documents.

estate planning document wizard

Clients go through a self-guided questionnaire.

client reviews the information

Clients review and finalize the plan.

client will receive printed documents

Printed documents are shipped for signature.


Advisor keeps track of clients’ progress.

advisor is notified through the advisor dashboard

The estate plan is visualized in Vanilla.

Estate planning considerations unique to Illinois

Here are some estate planning laws and regulations to be aware of in Illinois.

Small estates

Illinois offers a simplified probate process for small estates, which includes estates valued at $100,000 or less excluding real estate. Probate can be faster and less expensive in these cases. In these situations, heirs can use a Small Estate Affidavit to claim assets without a formal probate process.

Independent administration

Illinois allows for independent administration of estates, in which the executor can administer the estate without ongoing court supervision. This can speed up the administration process and reduce expenses.

No inheritance tax

Illinois does not have a state inheritance tax, which generally allows beneficiaries to claim inherited assets without paying state taxes on them.

State estate tax

Illinois does have a state estate tax, which applies to estates with values over $4 million. This means that if your estate is worth more than $4 million, there is a graduated tax rate up to 16% that would have to be paid before assets can be distributed to heirs.

Community property

Illinois is not a community property state, so assets acquired during a marriage are not automatically jointly owned by spouses. Illinois follows equitable distribution principles in divorce cases.

Probate courts

Unlike many states where probate courts are separate entities, probate proceedings in Illinois are handled by county circuit courts. Additionally, Illinois probate courts handle guardianship proceedings for minors and disabled adults as they relate to a decedent’s estate.

Intestate succession in Illinois

How do assets transfer when someone dies without a will in Illinois? Generally, an intestate decedent’s property passes “per stirpes,” meaning that each branch of the family receives an equal share as long as someone in that branch was living at the time of death.

Key estate planning features to deliver more value to clients in Illinois

Create estate planning documents with a simple and intuitive questionnaire

Clients answer questions through a step-by-step process that generates their estate planning documents. 

Easily track the status of your clients’ estate documents

Invite your clients to create core estate planning documents. Monitor the status of invites sent and your clients’ progress to ensure they’re successfully completed and executed. 

Printed documents sent directly to your clients for execution

Everything will be printed and shipped directly to your clients in a beautifully designed package so that they can be duly executed.


Visualize estate plans directly in Vanilla

Information from the estate documents flows directly into Vanilla so advisors can immediately see the specific fact patterns and integrate their clients’ financial data.


Connect with the wealth management tools you already use

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Create estate plan overviews

Organize and onboard clients’ plans in one place.

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Visualize how the estate plan works

Simplify complex plans with interactive diagrams.

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Deliver ongoing estate advice

Drive ongoing legacy planning

Create strategies and opportunities through impactful estate planning conversations.

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Frequently asked questions

Can Vanilla provide estate planning documents tailored to Illinois state laws?

Yes, Vanilla has a suite of core estate planning documents that have been tailored to IL law by top IL-licensed attorneys.

Can Vanilla automate estate plans for attorneys and financial advisors in Illinois?

Yes, Vanilla enables advisors to create new estate plans and generate automated visualizations, reports and potential opportunities through Document Builder.

What information does Vanilla visualize on the platform?

Vanilla takes all of your client’s household information, financial data, and estate documents to create the dynamic visualizations of the estate plan. Financial information includes bank accounts, stock portfolios, real estate, brokerage accounts, personal property (i.e. art and car collections), and retirement accounts.

Does Vanilla provide a deliverable I can share with my clients?

Advisors can create an on-demand, custom branded PDF report that they can share with their clients with all the information about their estate plans.

How does Vanilla help advisors strategize estate planning opportunities with their clients?

Vanilla Scenarios gives advisors, wealth planners, and estate lawyers a powerful, dynamic platform to model multiple estate planning scenarios now and in the future to illustrate the impact of planning.  Multiple scenarios — including various projections, SLATs, Annual Gifting, and more — can be created, saved, and layered upon existing plans. Advisors can use Vanilla Scenarios to model against complete profiles or an outline of assets.

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