Category: Probate and Estate Planning

The Differences Between A Trust And A Will

Wills and trusts are two common legal instruments of estate planning. A will is a legal declaration of an individual’s wishes for the distribution of their assets after they have died. A trust also provides for asset distribution upon death, but can also control assets during the client’s lifetime and can place parameters on distribution after death.One of the…

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Little Known Facts About Revocable Living Trusts

There are a few facts about revocable living trusts that might seem a bit surprising to many individuals who are interested in this effective estate planning tool. While a living trust is often an adequate solution for avoiding lengthy probate and the expenses that are associated with this burdensome process, it may not be the right choice for everyone….

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Designing an Estate Plan to Survive a Legal Challenge

Taking certain precautions when drafting estate-planning documents can help to avoid future legal challenges by disgruntled family members. One common will contest involves allegations that the family members were incompetent when they drafted their wills. Others may involve arguments that the testators were unduly coerced when they drafted their wills or that the wills were not properly executed. A…

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How will Probate Law be Affected by President Trump?

Probate law will likely change under the new presidential administration. Trump calls for a repeal of the estate tax. He also proposes a capital gains tax on assets left behind over $10 million. The details are still unclear, but an experienced probate lawyer can answer questions about estate planning.

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How to Make a Long-term Care Plan

Estate planning needs to include a long-term care plan in the event that such care becomes necessary as the planner ages. This is a critical aspect that people may miss if they do not seek help. An estate planning attorney helps people determine the right long-term care plan. Depending on where an Illinois resident lives, the costs and services…

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Estate Planning for a Disabled Child’s Future Needs

Approximately 12% of the US population is physically or mentally disabled. Many of these individuals reside with or receive financial support from their parents or other family members. Estate planning for these dependents is crucial for ensuring their long-term care and welfare.

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Intra-Family Loans Are Often An Effective Estate Planing Tool

Intra-family loans are an excellent way for families to share the wealth without disrupting their estate and gift tax exemptions. These types of loans, however, aren’t always easy to structure. While individuals can put intra-family loans together themselves, the services of an experienced estate planning attorney and possibly a tax advisor should be considered to avoid possible complications or…

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Recent Developments In Estate Planning

Estate tax laws were overhauled by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (“Improvement Act”), by IRS proposed regulation § 2801, and by a series of cases which addressed estate planning issues. These recent developments, while not expansive, could significantly impact some estate and individual tax returns. Furthermore, Congress expanded the number of tax…

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Family Feud: Contesting a Will

Valuable estates can easily become war zones. The desire for land, possessions, or other assets can quickly sever family ties. Estates are typically distributed per the wishes of the deceased. But not always. There are cases when a court determines legitimate grounds exist to question a will’s validity. These contests, however, can trigger the beginning of a never-ending, bitter…

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