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Medicaid planning: The risks of doing it on your own

According to the Congressional Budget Office, research suggests that more than two-thirds of seniors over the age of 65 will need some type of assistance during the remaining years of their life to deal with a loss in their ability to function independently. … [Read more...]

What happens if an heir doesn’t want the inheritance?

A farmer who lay on his deathbed asked his son to make sure that the land would always stay in the family. Upon his death, the farmer’s will left 320 acres for his wife and 160 acres for each of his four children. … [Read more...]

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know Part 5

5. Do not overlook the need for a power of attorney for property.  Just like you need a health care power of attorney, you also need a property power of attorney to communicate your wishes regarding who will make financial decisions in the event that you become incapable of doing so. There are a number of situations in which you could be alive, but incapable of managing your financial affairs due to a deteriorating mental or physical condition. Without a property power of attorney, any … [Read more...]

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know Part 4

4. Everyone needs a power of attorney for health care.  Just like everyone – everyone – needs a will, everyone should have a health care power of attorney, regardless of age or financial status. Health care powers of attorney, which are sometimes called advanced directives, can communicate your wishes regarding who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapable of doing so. Without an advanced directive, a hospital will do whatever it takes to keep … [Read more...]

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know part 3

3. Even if you have a trust, you still need a will.  A trust does not eliminate the need to have a will. If you do not also have a will, any assets that are not part of the trust will pass intestate, which means that those assets may not be distributed according to your intentions. Moreover, a trust cannot deal with guardianship issues and certain assets, such as tax refunds and other assets that are acquired after the trust is prepared, cannot be placed into a trust. … [Read more...]

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know part 2

2. A trust is essential in three situations – and highly recommended in several others.  Unlike a will, a trust is not always necessary. There are three unique situations, however, in which a trust is essential, along with several other situations in which a trust is highly recommended. A trust is essential if: • If you are single and over the age of 50, a trust will be able to provide specific instructions on managing your financial affairs in the event that you become incapable of doing … [Read more...]

The 5 Illinois Estate Planning Secrets You Need to Know part 1

No one likes to think about the end of their life or the death of a loved one. As a result, estate planning is a difficult issue that many people want to avoid discussing. Unfortunately, there is a steep price to be paid for avoiding estate planning discussions and legal preparation. Without a proper estate plan, your assets might not be distributed as you intended and your loved ones could suffer the consequences in terms of time, money, and stress. Comprehensive estate planning, however, … [Read more...]

About Illinois Business Formation part 3

How Does the Probate Process with a Will Differ from the Intestate Probate Process? If a decedent dies intestate (without a will), the property will be distributed to the beneficiaries according to state law. If there are no relatives, the property will go to the state. If minor children are impacted by the decedent’s death, a guardian ad litem will be appointed to determine guardianship issues. Additionally, intestate probate proceedings are public proceedings, with all information publicly … [Read more...]

About Illinois Business Formation part 2

What Are the Advantages of the Illinois Probate Process?  Although the probate process can take time, there are several advantages to estate administration in probate court. For instance, when an estate goes to probate, any claims against the estate must be filed within six months of the notification of death. If the estate is not in probate (i.e., if all property is distributed through a trust), creditors have up to two years to file a claim against the estate. Another advantage of the … [Read more...]

About Illinois Business Formation part 1

Frequently Asked Questions about the Illinois Probate Process In most instance, after a person dies in Illinois, the decedent’s estate goes into probate. When Does Probate Apply?  In most cases, a decedent’s estate will go into probate after he or she dies. Generally, the formal probate process is necessary in Illinois if: The estate consists of assets that the decedent owned individually (not jointly); and The value of all estate assets, together, exceeds more than $100,000. Certain … [Read more...]

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