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Estate Planning

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...]

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. As a Buffalo Grove estate planning lawyer has seen, failing to take the correct steps ahead of time can lead to legal disputes such as this. Here … [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. The state of Illinois can also impose a 16 percent tax on any estate valued at more than $4 million. Any Buffalo Grove estate planning attorney knows that cumulative assets that go above the $5.43 million federal … [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. As an estate lawyer in Libertyville has seen, pets are just one item that are often left out of legal documentation. For those who are planning, it is important to remember to include these three items: Pets For many … [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. As a Cook County estate planning lawyer may have seen, it is possible for people in these situations to mistakenly disinherit each other. What’s more, not … [Read more...]

How does probate work in Illinois?

Probate is a process that occurs in court and is sometimes, but not always, required after a person passes away. The main purpose of the probate process is to make it clear who should inherit the deceased person’s assets and ensure taxes and other debts are paid. During this process, the estate’s executor, who is the person named in the deceased person’s estate planning documents with the help of an Illinois estate planning attorney, must have the estate’s assets appraised, identify and … [Read more...]

Keep taxes in mind when planning your estate

Estate tax is defined as the tax on a person’s right to transfer property after death. There are several strategies those who are in the midst of the estate planning process should consider implementing with the assistance of their estate planning lawyer in Illinois to ensure that their estate taxes are as minimal as possible once they pass away. Obtain a current asset valuation This step is particularly important for estates that include assets that are difficult to value, such as a … [Read more...]

Making provisions for collections in your estate plan

When a young woman’s mother died, she was left with handling the estate. According to The Epoch Times, the mother had an extraordinary antique collection that included chandeliers, sconces and furniture. Unfortunately, the young heir did not have a sense of the value of the items, and she sold her mother’s home with all of the antiques included. As an estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows knows, people in Illinois and elsewhere should make sure that collections of either monetary or … [Read more...]

Can I include my pets in my estate plan?

When a cat owner in California died, his family took the feline to a shelter to be euthanized. According to The Humane Society, an animal organization called BrightHaven stepped in to save the Siamese cat. Many pets whose owners die are not as lucky, as the Humane Society points out that as many as 500,000 animals end up in shelters when owners die or become incapacitated and there is no plan in place. For people in Illinois and across the country who have pets, it is important to note … [Read more...]

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