Estate Planning

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 leave 320 acres for his wife and 160 acres for each of his four children. While some family members were overjoyed with their inheritance, others did not expect the million-dollar mortgages that came with the land. According to Iowa Farmer Today, several of the farmer’s children were not equipped to handle inheriting that level of debt. In Illinois … [Read more...]

Understanding the Difference Between a Durable and a Springing Power of Attorney

A significant division exists between springing and durable power of attorney and it is important to understand how these differences may impact a person's financial and medical decisions in the future. A durable power of attorney takes effect the moment that it is signed. This is useful in ensuring that authority is clearly vested. Conversely, a springing power of attorney takes effect when the grantor is incapacitated. Springing powers of attorney reserve more authority for the grantor but at … [Read more...]

Planning Your Estate: How to Make Sure Your Kids Can Keep the House

Parents who wish to leave their house to their kids can employ a variety of tactics to ensure their wishes are honored. Working with an estate planning attorney to create a will and a living trust, and making sure all the right wording is included in the deed is often necessary to ensure all bases are covered. Wills A will is a legal document that is set-up and signed by the testator to transfer property and money upon death. A will can be used to transfer anything the testator owns to anyone … [Read more...]

Should a Family Limited Partnership Be Part of Your Estate Plan?

Family limited partnerships (FLPs), legal devices used to move wealth from one generation to the next while minimizing tax exposure, are a critical part of any estate plan. FLPs pool a family’s money to execute a business venture. The FLP has two types of partners: general and limited. The general partners manage the assets of the FLP while the limited partners possess equity interest but are unable to engage in the day-to-day management of the assets. However, in exchange for reduced … [Read more...]

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...]

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