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Estate Planning

Why Advanced Directives Are an Important Part of Estate Planning

Advanced directives outline a person's wishes and designate a surrogate decision-maker to take care of medical and financial decisions if a person becomes incapacitated and cannot make these decisions on his or her own behalf. They also protect an individual's wishes for end-of-life care and interventions. What Is an Advanced Directive? An advanced directive provides a person's family and medical providers with his or her wishes in regard to medical treatment and interventions and … [Read more...]

Why Your Estate Needs a Backup Plan

A backup plan is a fundamental part of an estate. When writing a will, it is a common misconception that assets will be shared among all of the listed beneficiaries. However, pandemics, accidents, and crimes can take multiple lives all at once, leaving the need for a contingency plan. Reasons to Include a Back Plan in an Estate Incidents of loved ones passing away in close proximity have risen, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without a contingency plan, such situations could … [Read more...]

When the Health Care Proxy and the Financial Power of Attorney Can’t Agree

When the health care proxy and the financial power of attorney cannot agree, a careful review of and discussion about the power of attorney documents or mediation may help resolve disputes. If an agreement still cannot be reached, conflicts may need to be resolved by the probate court. Many Power of Attorney Documents State How to Handle Disputes If a dispute happens, adult children can look at the power of attorney documents. If they were created by a skilled estate … [Read more...]

How to Choose Your Health Care Power of Attorney

Appointing a health care power of attorney (health care POA) involves an individual choosing a trusted, strong-willed, and assertive person and giving them the authority to make decisions on their behalf regarding their medical care and treatment. A person is free to choose anybody to serve as a healthcare power of attorney based on their relationship, trust, willingness to serve, articulacy, location, and some understanding of medical processes. It’s important to think carefully about the … [Read more...]

How to Revoke a Power of Attorney

People who establish powers of attorney may take back the authority granted to their named agents as long as they are of sound mind. An essential estate planning instrument, durable powers of attorney give named agents the ability to act as the principals’ personal representatives. The attorney-in-fact can perform certain actions and make certain decisions on the principal's behalf. Since POAs are often created well before a need for them arises, circumstances may change, and principals may … [Read more...]

What Are the Four Types of POA for Property in Illinois?

There are many different types of POAs, each needing their own notarized form to be officially recognized by the courts. This article will discuss the four types of power of attorney for property most commonly used in Illinois. Limited Power of Attorney Also termed as Special POA in some areas, Limited POAs are the simplest and most fittingly named. Their powers are granted only for a limited time and for specific tasks, such as signing the deed to a property or making sure the title to a … [Read more...]

How to Avoid A Family Feud: Estate Planning 101

Advanced estate planning can help ease resentment and prevent family feuds over inheritance while preserving the wishes of the deceased. By ensuring the appropriate documents are in place, intentions are clearly communicated, and all property is included, people can reduce the chances of family discord after they die. The Right Estate Planning Tools for the Job A will serves as a guide for the allocation of assets, but wills alone may not be enough to prevent disputes between heirs when a … [Read more...]

Leave Proper Documents For Your Loved Ones

In estate planning, the right end-of-life documents are the key to ensuring an individual's needs and desires are followed after death. A will can help individuals protect against unwanted taxes or probate court concerns, and a trust can help add even more protection. By ensuring the proper documentation is in place early, Illinois residents can safeguard their families and their beneficiaries after death. Lists Help Take Stock of Finances First, individuals working on their estate plans … [Read more...]

Estate Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to turn their thoughts to the "what ifs" of end-of-life planning, yet estate planning becomes more difficult when legal teams are under stay-at-home orders and keeping their firms closed. For those who are ready to make changes to their estate plan, this time of introspection provides an excellent opportunity to start with the help of an estate planning lawyer. Why Make an Estate Plan? The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that all it takes is an illness to … [Read more...]

What Is a Financial POA?

Financial powers of attorney allow people to name others to handle finance-related matters on their behalf. Whether out of town, incapacitated due to injury or illness, or because of another circumstance, situations may arise in which people cannot conduct their financial affairs themselves. As a result, they or their families may face hardships waiting for requests for financial authority to go through the court system. Assigning a Personal Financial Agent A type of legal document, … [Read more...]

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