Category: Probate and Estate Planning

Settling An Estate Without A Will

Property that is not settled with a will or trust must either pass automatically to the heirs or be devised through probate. Probate is a legal process through which a will is accepted (or “probated”), or assets are devised to beneficiaries. Probate allows potential beneficiaries to submit claims to a person’s estate. Wills that are not contested avoid probate;…

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Dying Intestate in Illinois

When an Illinois resident dies without establishing a will, the State of Illinois will provide an “estate plan” for the deceased. Unfortunately, the state’s plan for asset distribution may not always coincide with the wishes of the deceased. When a will or other estate planning documents are absent upon an individual’s death, it is referred to as the person…

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Bankruptcy Makes Sense For Some Senior Citizens

Bankruptcy to relieve debt is an option for many senior citizens on a fixed income. However, bankruptcy may not make sense in every situation. Bankruptcy lawyers can help senior citizens considering bankruptcy determine the best course of action.

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Taking Control Of End-Of-Life Care With Living Wills

Living wills, advanced directives and health care powers of attorney are all estate-planning documents that allow people to control their end-of-life treatment and who will be able to make medical decisions for them. When people near death, they may be unable to tell their medical team what kinds of care that they would like to receive. End-of-life care is…

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Why It’s Risky to Die Without an Estate Plan

An individual works hard to accumulate assets and build their net worth. Over a lifetime, assets such as real estate, businesses, art work, investment accounts, and cash savings can grow into a sizable sum. An estate plan helps shield these assets from taxes and ne’er-do-wells eager to get their hands on them.

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Copies of Estate Planning Documents May Not Be Enough

In recent years, advances in technology has enabled Americans to maintain digital files and copies of documents almost effortlessly. While the temptation to do away with paper copies of important documents in an effort to clear away clutter and become better organized is strong, when it comes to estate planning documents, copies may not be legally sufficient. Although backing…

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Why You’re Never Too Young to Think About Estate Planning

When most people think of estate planning, they think of older people, or individuals who are extremely wealthy. They very rarely think about estate planning for younger, more ordinary individuals unless the person leads a very risky lifestyle or there is a serious illness involved. Unfortunately, the misconception that only the old, rich, or sick need an estate plan…

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Estate Executors: What are the Real Responsibilities?

While many consider it an honor, being named the executor of an estate in Illinois can be extraordinarily challenging. Taking on new administrative responsibilities after dealing with a loss is tough, even in the best of circumstances. Add legal responsibilities and family struggles into the mix, and it is easy to see how an estate executor could become overwhelmed.

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Planning for Succession in a Living Trust

Creating a living trust through an experienced estate planning attorney allows maximum control over trust assets during a lifetime. Planning for succession with a revocable living trust will protect assets in case of physical or mental incapacity due to age or illness. Appointing a successor trustee early will assure that assets are managed according to plans for beneficiaries.

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