Category: Probate and Estate Planning

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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Putting Your Last Wishes in Writing

A living will, known as a declaration in Illinois, is a document everyone should have. Whether a terminal illness is in the picture, of simply proactively expecting the unexpected, a living will makes sure an individual’s healthcare and final wishes are crystal clear. For family and loved ones, a living will provides easy to follow instructions that can help them make…

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Four Documents Every Estate Plan Should Have

Creating an estate plan is not always a simple process. Often, it requires the teamwork of financial advisors, accountants and probate lawyers to create a plan that will protect their client’s assets and well-being in the event of death or serious illness. A solid estate plan should answer all the “what ifs” so that there is nothing left to…

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What Blended Families Need to Know About Estate Planning

Blended Family Structures and Conflicts Due to rising divorce rates over the last decade, blended families are a common family structure. According to U.S. statistics, 50% of marriages end in divorce, and 43% of new marriages are second marriages for at least one spouse. Every year, one million children end up with newly divorced or divorcing parents. Estate planning…

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Strategies for Estate Dispute Resolution

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is painful and disputes over the loved one’s estate can make dealing with the loss even more difficult. Disputes often arise due to unclear or non-existent wills, a family member’s disagreement with the loved one’s wishes due to mental capacity or unresolved conflict between family members.

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Appointing a Guardian for an Elder Family Member

Many elderly and aging parents continue caring for themselves, either independently or with minimal help, as they get older. Others find dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other illnesses prevent them from making appropriate decisions for themselves.

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Who should you choose to be your will’s executor?

Many people view naming someone as the executor of a will as an honor. However, in Illinois, executors typically face challenging fiduciary duties, including inventorying assets, paying estate debts and overseeing asset distribution. If these duties are improperly handled, the estate may lose value or the executor may incur personal liability. Consequently, as a lawyer might note, it is…

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3 life events that should generate a revised will

Some Illinois residents believe that once they have drafted their last will and testament, they no longer have to worry about how their assets and property will be divided after they pass away. While this may be the true for some, many people will experience several significant changes throughout their lives that may prompt a will revision.

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Is it possible to avoid probate in Illinois?

An Illinois man retired to Florida after a successful career as a physician. However, according to the Miami Herald, he did not have much time to relax. His wealthy mother-in-law’s estate was left to lawyers and court-appointed guardians in the probate process. Her children became embattled, fighting over accounts and assets. The man started an organization regarding probate guardianship…

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