Estate Planning

A Revocable Living Gun Trust May Be Right On Target

Firearms, including automatic weapons and gun collections, that are to be passed down to beneficiaries require special consideration and creating a revocable living gun trust may help avoid unintended consequences in the future. A gun trust is a way to legally provide for the disposition of guns to intended beneficiaries while complying with the National Firearms Act (NFA) and any applicable state laws. What Is a Revocable Gun Trust? When a revocable gun trust is established, the owner of the … [Read more...]

Don’t Leave Your Family Hanging When You Die

When a person becomes incapacitated or dies without an adequate estate plan in place, his or her loved ones are left trying to make decisions based on what they believe the person would want. In some cases, loved ones may not be able to make any decisions at all. An estate plan provides guidance to friends and family members about their loved one's desires regarding the end of life care, after death plans, and property distribution. The Last Will Dying intestate can leave property and even the … [Read more...]

If You Died Tomorrow, Who Would Get Your Kids?

It is imperative to decide who will care for the kids well in advance just in case the parents don’t survive long enough to see their children become adults. Naming a legal guardian to take custody of the children and provide for their daily needs, basic health and education can be done by adding the information into a will. While the court has the final say, the parents' choice will typically be honored when a will exists. In the absence of a will, or when a guardian is not named in a will, the … [Read more...]

Estate Planning Checklist for Everyday People

An estate planning checklist can help everyday people ensure that choices about medical care, asset allocation, and even who cares for minor children are honored. Regardless of age, assets, or health status, nearly everyone needs an estate plan. By creating a checklist, people can make sure that important elements that pertain to their situations are considered and that all bases are covered. There’s More to Estate Planning than Drawing Up a Will An estate plan comprises a person’s wishes … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Consider These Strategies Before Leaving Your Kids An Inheritance

Estate planning techniques like the incentive trust can nurture healthy ambition while also ensuring that an inheritance will not interfere with children going on to lead meaningful lives of their own. According to Forbes money can enable children to have a financial cushion that helps them lead better and more fulfilling lives. Money can also suck the ambition and initiative out of children who are not prepared for the sudden influx of wealth. Is Inheriting Money Always a Bad Thing? CNN News … [Read more...]

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...]

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