May, 2018 Archives

Archives for 2018

Duty to Serve Program Brings Homebuying Options to Low and Middle Income Americans

Owning a home is a source of accomplishment. Unfortunately, affordable homeownership remains a pipe dream for many low and middle-income Americans. Homeowners are often burdened by the weight of mortgage repayments. The Duty to Serve Program was established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to make homeownership affordable through the introduction of more home buying options. Those who are either struggling to make their mortgage payments, or are falling behind ought to work directly with … [Read more...]

Dying Without Direction (The Nasty Consequences of Dying Without a Will)

Drafting a will is arguably the most significant stage of the estate planning process and failure to create one often comes with nasty consequences. When someone dies, the assets that are left behind are typically distributed to heirs. When a will is not available, decisions about who will receive property, who will take care of the kids, and even who will execute the deceased's estate are left up to the state. Dying Intestate in Illinois For those who are thinking about a will, people who … [Read more...]

Prepare An Exit Strategy Before You Sign that Contract

Every entrepreneur should develop an exit strategy to limit losses and ensure the business owner has the ability to sell or transfer ownership of the business should the need arise. Exit strategies are crucial if the entrepreneur wants to retire, travel, or move on to a new idea. An effective exit plan allows entrepreneurs to address problems and cleanly disentangle from their business. Basics of the Exit Strategy The three common types of exit strategies are: Strategic acquisitions; … [Read more...]

Asset Protection Trusts Offer Peace of Mind for Your Financial Future

Asset protection trusts are effective tools to protect a person's property from judgments, creditors, and lawsuits now, and in the future. Property held within an asset protection trust is not considered to be the property of the beneficiaries, so it can typically escape seizure for debt collection. Learning more about the features of domestic and offshore asset protection trusts can help ensure that an appropriate type of trust is established. The Basics of the Asset Protection Trust Asset … [Read more...]

Will Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Make Housing in America Great Again?

Trump's proposed infrastructure plan could be a game changer for America, but challenges exist that may hinder the plan from becoming as transformative as was originally envisioned. The infrastructure plan will encourage the development of advanced technology, like broadband internet, in rural communities throughout the U.S. But higher taxes to help cover the costs of the projects, increased home building and remodeling costs due to a shortage of construction workers, and swarms of new residents … [Read more...]

Do You Need to Reopen Probate?

Once a probate estate has been fully administered and the case has been closed, it typically stays closed, but in a handful of situations, it may make sense to reopen probate. Reasons to Reopen Probate Illinois has very broad probate laws that regulate when an estate may be reopened. Under the Illinois Probate Act, an estate can be reopened at any time if a portion of the estate was never settled, if new assets, creditors or wills were discovered, if an heir was not notified of the opening or … [Read more...]

These Six Types of Property Won’t Need to Go through Probate

Non-probate assets are types of property that won't have to go through the probate process after a person dies, and will instead pass directly to the intended heirs shortly after death. Avoiding probate saves time and money, but non-probate property can sometimes pass to unintended beneficiaries and creditors. Careful estate planning is essential to avoid probate and still protect assets from transferring into the wrong hands. Which Assets Are Not Generally Subject to Probate? Transfer or … [Read more...]

Estate Planning Essentials for Blended Families

When Illinoisans remarry, they should review their estate planning documents to ensure that their assets pass to their intended beneficiaries after they die. Couples who have remarried should discuss how they want their assets to be divided to provide for blended family members from all marriages. They should review and update their existing wills, trusts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and titles to make certain that their assets won't be passed to ex-spouses. An estate planning … [Read more...]

When a Spouse is Excluded from a Will in Illinois

In general, a testator in Illinois can disinherit anyone – including a spouse. In fact, Illinois is one of the few states that allow married people to use estate planning techniques to ensure there is no eligible property left for surviving spouses claiming renunciation shares. Under Illinois law, however, excluded spouses may still be able to claim a portion of the probate estate. Prenuptial Agreements Take Precedence When the terms of a prenuptial agreement conflict with a will in Illinois, … [Read more...]

Bits of Wisdom from an Estate Planning Attorney

Probate is easy to avoid with adequate planning and foresight. Transferring assets, designating beneficiaries and taking advantage of a few estate planning tools can help ensure that people avoid probate. Probate Can Be a Long, Expensive Process Probate is a legal process that decides how a person's assets are to be distributed upon death. Although probate is often a routine procedure, it can become expensive and drawn out if putative heirs (people who were excluded or under-included) contest … [Read more...]

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