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.
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.
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 a highly personal decision, and if a person Read More
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.
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 up estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney with digital copies is always a good idea, a probate lawyer cannot stress enough how critical it is to keep original documents safely stored and accessible.
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 can leave Americans with no control over their medical care, their assets, or their children when the time comes.
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.
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.
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 difficult decisions during a highly emotional time. A living will should also be paired with a durable power of attorney appointing a guardian to be responsible for carrying out these wishes.