Estate Planning

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. … [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. … [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. … [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. … [Read more...]

Avoid legal battles over your estate with these 3 tips

Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks left behind a sizeable estate when he passed away. According to My Fox Chicago, he had a will in place, but a judge is determining whether or not he had the mental capacity to legally sign the document. Banks’ estranged wife and children are arguing that the woman to whom he left assets should not receive anything. … [Read more...]

Avoid estate taxes by setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust

In 2013, the U.S. Congress approved a permanent estate tax exemption for people who have assets that total less than $5 million. Factoring inflation into the equation, that means that people today can avoid the 40 percent federal tax with as much as $5.43 million in assets. … [Read more...]

Is your estate plan missing these 3 items?

A woman worried about her pets’ wellbeing was motivated to start a sanctuary for animals whose owners have passed away. According to the Huffington Post, dozens of animals have gone to stay with the woman, as their owners did not include the pets in their estate plans. … [Read more...]

Should unmarried couples in Illinois establish an estate plan?

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who are choosing to cohabitate rose by 25 percent between 2000 and 2010. Those in Illinois and across the country who don’t want to get married should know that the law is not necessarily on their side when it comes to taxes, property division and health care decisions. … [Read more...]

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