Estate Planning

How you can defend an eminent domain action

The activist group Castle Coalition gives Illinois a D+ rating when it comes to protecting property owners against eminent domain. That doesn’t mean there aren’t defenses available, as it is often possible to beat eminent domain with the help of an Illinois real estate attorney who specializes in eminent domain defense. (Article continues below Infographic) How Eminent Domain Works The agency interested in acquiring property will assess it to determine its value. Next, an offer … [Read more...]

Digital Property Creates New Questions In Estate Planning

Estate attorneys are facing a new and difficult challenge: the division and distribution of digital assets after death. Illinois is one of many states struggling to draft legislation to protect digital property for intestate estates, but 2015's Senate Bill 1376 faced significant opposition from online companies. These companies argue opening digital assets to an estate violates the original property holder's right to privacy, and is therefore impermissible. Right now, the only way to … [Read more...]

The Impact of Divorce on Your Retirement Plans

Getting a divorce after age 50 can have a big impact on retirement. It can reduce income and force full-time or part-time employment in retirement years. According to statistics, one in every four divorces during the last few years was among the baby boomer generation. Whether these figures are the result of failed marriages or longer life spans isn't certain, but divorce among this age group will certainly affect retirement lifestyles. (Article continues below infographic.) A … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get Estate Documents in Order

The New Year is the perfect time to plan for the future. While your energy is high and your spirits are up, be sure to fit estate planning into your schedule this month. Getting it out of the way now means you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the year. The following are key documents you should prepare, review, then place in secure storage. Living Will. This written statement details your desires should you become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself. … [Read more...]

2016 Estate & Gift Taxes at a Glance

Estate planning is not something that should be taken lightly. As the rules change, and limits are adjusted, individuals should stay on top of their estate plans to ensure that transfer of their estate is smooth and efficient after their passing. 2016 Estate Exemption Limit The IRS has recently announced the 2016 estate and gift tax exemption. They have increased it to $5.45 million. This means that an individual may leave this amount to their heirs without them having to pay federal estate … [Read more...]

The Planning Stage of Advanced Care

Estate planning accomplishes several objectives, including the deferral or reduction in estate taxes, avoiding probate, and ensuring that the defendant's assets pass on to heirs of his or her choosing. What happens to that person medically is another aspect of estate planning, and these details can be contained in an advance care directive. This part of estate planning is a legal document that is created while the person is still mentally and emotionally capable. It indicates their decisions, … [Read more...]

Rahm Emanuel Requests Significant Raise to Illinois’ Commercial Property Taxes

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to raise taxes on commercial property holders in the hopes that these tax increases will stave off the state's ever burgeoning budget shortfalls. This past week, he pitched his proposals to Chicago's 50 Alderman seeking their support of the largest property tax increases in the history of Illinois. At issue is the philosophy of how to deal with the city's budget shortfalls which exceed $9 billion dollars a year. Coupled with over $159 billion in IOU's owed to … [Read more...]

Be honest when discussing your children’s inheritance

When a Brooklyn art collector died, he left seven Monet works of art to his son. According to JP Updates, the son was supposed to keep one painting and distribute the rest among his six siblings. However, the son fell ill and struggled financially, resulting in a multi-family dispute over the paintings. Any Bensenville estate planning lawyer would know that leaving property to people with the intention of having them distribute it to others leaves room for uncertainty. Discussing plans for … [Read more...]

Can a will successfully be challenged?

According to the American Bar Association, roughly 55 percent of people in the country pass away before putting a will in place. Those who do take the right steps in their estate planning can rest assured that the majority of wills pass through the probate process without any issue. However, residents in Illinois who disagree with the terms of a decedent’s will do have some legal recourse. A Wheeling wills attorney has probably seen several situations in which family members have … [Read more...]

Every adult should have a power of attorney

When she was 26, a Chicago resident was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. WGNTV reports that now, at 41, the cancer is back and the woman worries about how her children will handle her end-of-life concerns. The woman was reluctant to appoint one of her children as her power of attorney, as she herself had to care for her own mother, who died of cancer.The woman’s home health care advocate convinced her to put her wishes in writing, which the woman says has brought her peace of mind. Any … [Read more...]

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