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 returns that could be subjected to penalties and interest for improper or late filings. Read More
Bankruptcy can affect people from all walks of life. Even celebrities and politicians aren’t exempt from bankruptcy. Anyone can face financial troubles, and bankruptcy lawyers can provide guidance for a smooth process.
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 family feud. They are costly legal actions that take years to resolve. Three common grounds used to contest a will, include:
In April 2016, the debt limits for Chapter 13 bankruptcy increased for people filing after that date. A bankruptcy attorney can explain qualification requirements and other restrictions that impact Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers.
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; the estate administrator need only file a copy with the court as a public record.
Thorough planning and preparation are required when filing for bankruptcy. Individuals preparing to file bankruptcy must complete several steps in order to ensure that best outcome of the proceedings. A bankruptcy lawyer can help prepare the necessary documentation that shows the financial position of the individual and their inability to pay the debts they owe.
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 having died “intestate”. Upon an intestate death, the deceased’s property is passed to his or her heirs under the Illinois intestacy succession laws.
The rights of creditors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. Currently, the law prohibits creditors from filing claims for time-barred debts. However, a recent split between the Circuit Courts means that this may change.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a useful tool for some individuals to discharge most of their debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or “straight bankruptcy,” allows the filer to keep certain property exempt, while the rest is liquidated to satisfy the debt. Liquidation is the forced sale of an asset to satisfy an obligation, like loans or credit. The Bankruptcy Trustee would liquidate all of the filer’s non-exempt property to satisfy outstanding debts.
The credits then accept the payments in satisfaction of the debt; often it can be pennies on the dollar. Anything that is unpaid is discharged by the bankruptcy court.
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.