Estate Planning

Will Estate Tax Be the Death of Your Small Business?

While estate tax isn’t necessarily the “death” of a small business, it could result in a significant burden for a handful of small businesses. The estate tax is sometimes levied on an estate upon the death of the decedent. An estate is a collection of assets and monies left behind by someone who passes away. The estate tax is decried by political opponents for causing double taxation because the assets composing the estate are post-tax dollars. Proponents of the tax argue that the estate tax … [Read more...]

Treating Children Differently but Fairly in a Will

Parents sometimes leave unequal inheritances to their children and just because these amounts are uneven doesn’t necessarily mean they are not fair. Decisions are often based on the needs of adult children, their achievements, major gifts that were already given, and alternative forms of estate planning. The Unequal Situation Parents often create their wills with the current financial situations of their children in mind. The following is an example of a scenario that a Chicago will attorney … [Read more...]

Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

Same sex couples often have unique circumstances that can sometimes result in more complicated or creative estate planning techniques being implemented to ensure that their wishes are followed. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that LGBT couples and their estate planning attorney can take to avoid potential pitfalls in the future. According to the pros, same sex couples should: Review their legal marital status ahead of time In Illinois, same sex marriage has been legally … [Read more...]

Choosing the Best Fiduciary for Your Will

Choosing a qualified trustee to oversee a will can have a big impact on divisions of assets after a person’s death. A will attorney can address questions and concerns of family members and beneficiaries. Choosing an Estate Fiduciary A fiduciary is an entity or person who manages another person’s affairs if that person is incapacitated or deceased. The word fiduciary is a general term referring to agents, personal representatives, or trustees. When choosing a fiduciary to oversee an estate, … [Read more...]

Avoid Common Mistakes in Wills

Estate planning is important for all Illinois residents to complete, but they should make certain to avoid making certain common mistakes on their wills that can have unintended consequences. Some of the mistakes that are made include not following the rules, not including all of the assets, choosing the wrong executor, failing to update the will and forgetting to name a guardian for minor children. A will attorney may help clients with writing wills that avoid these errors so that their wishes … [Read more...]

How Your Estate Plan Should Change After a Divorce

After a divorce, the legal relationship between the former spouses, necessitating a change in estate plans. Many individuals name their spouse to important roles and this work must be unwoven to protect a person's interests after divorce. Some aspects of the estate plan that may need to be changed include: The Will Spouses may have named each other the executor of each other's will. Additionally, the spouse may stand to inherit everything. Changes are usually required to the will to avoid … [Read more...]

Document Essentials for Every Estate Plan

A solid estate plan covers everything from the end of life care to the disposition of assets. Preparing and storing these documents in advance is essential for ensuring that every possibility and eventuality is addressed and resolved. Because these documents cover everything from healthcare to finances, it is essential to prepare and complete them with the assistance of an estate attorney. Will This core document is crucial regardless of the size of the estate. It identifies the physical, … [Read more...]

Update Your Will and Avoid Probate Court

An updated will can protect assets that are meant to go to chosen family members and heirs when a person dies. Without a will, Illinois intestate succession laws will dictate through probate what happens to an individual’s business, savings, personal property, and possibly even minor children. If problems arise, a probate attorney can advise beneficiaries on how to settle the deceased person's estate. Updating a Last Will and Testament Statistics show that up to 70 percent of adults do not … [Read more...]

Including an Incentive Trust in Your Estate Plan

An incentive trust is used to provide incentive to the beneficiary of a trust to do something, or to refrain from doing something. An incentive trust, established by Illinois estate attorneys, may provide a good way for heirs to make important decisions and lifestyle changes that will impact their future. Establishing an Incentive Trust Fearing a generation of trust-fund kids without jobs, responsibilities or obligations, many families are establishing incentive trusts for beneficiaries as … [Read more...]

The Benefits of a Living Trust

Estate planning is a careful mixture of planning for present and future needs. People who put too much of their assets away in a trust may lose the ability to support their lifestyle. People who don’t plan sufficiently may end up paying significant sums in taxes. Living trusts are an estate planning tool that is critical to ensuring that future planning does not detract from present needs. Estate Planning Generally There are two tools that people use to plan their estate the will and the … [Read more...]

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