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estate planning Archives

What is a life estate?

Imagine that you want to provide money and income to a specific beneficiary in your estate plan; however, you want to ensure that additional assets will be available to someone else after the first beneficiary dies. For example, maybe you want your spouse to benefit from your estate, but you want the core of your estate to be inherited by a child after your spouse passes away.

What's a mutual will?

A mutual will is a common estate planning tool that governs the estate of more than just one person. Usually, the people who enter mutual wills with one another are married couples or couples who are in seriously committed relationships.

Art and estate planning: A delicate process of preparation

Some art investors have a knack for buying and selling works of creative inspiration. The investments they make can pay dividends as their art pieces climb in value. However, when you own a number of works of art that have increased in value significantly over the years, planning for how these assets will be transferred to heirs can be complicated.

The easiest thing you can do to protect your estate plan

Some Illinois residents never create an estate plan, making the days and months following their death stressful and challenging for the loved ones and potential heirs they leave behind. Other, more responsible Illinois residents create detailed and well-crafted estate plans that cover every last detail -- making things as easy as possible for the loved ones they leave behind. If you're one of the responsible ones, there's something else you might want to do to ensure that your estate plan is followed to the letter after you're gone.

Why you may want to put adult kids' money in a trust

Most parents feel fortunate when they have considerable assets to pass on to their children, either while they're still alive or after they're gone. However, there are some situations where parents may not feel it's wise to give an adult child sole control over a large amount of money.

Why Millennials should consider estate planning now

If you are a Millennial, should you have a will in order? Estate planning may seem like something for older folks - something you do not need to consider until you reach at least your 50s or 60s, right? Not so fast. No matter how old you are, if you have assets, you need to have a plan for distributing them after your death. Even something as modest as your personal possessions or smaller bank accounts should be covered under a will. Millennials need wills just as much as boomers or Gen-Xers. Here's how you get started.

Types of forms you need in your estate planning file

What types of documents do you need to have on file with an estate attorney? Estate planning can be a challenging topic, largely because so many clients are unaware of the major benefits that can come along with creating the right estate protection. Do not be caught unaware at your end-of-life stage. Instead, enlist the help of a qualified attorney to help you achieve your estate planning goals.

How to use estate planning to avoid challenges to your will

When it comes to setting up your estate plan, one of the most difficult topics can also be one of the simplest: How do you keep someone from challenging your will? Estate planning is designed to make the distribution of assets easier, but errant family members can cause headaches for Illinois clients. Here, we give you additional information on exactly who can challenge a will - and how you can keep your estate plan airtight to avoid a challenge.

The carrot stick of incentive trusts

If you are finding it difficult to get motivated about your estate planning, you are not alone. Many people are reluctant to spend time considering how life will go on after they have died, and this may be especially hard if you have potential heirs who may not be able to handle the inheritance you plan to leave.

Estate planning for your child with special needs

If you're a parent raising a special-needs child in Illinois, you're probably concerned about who will care for your child when you're gone. Let's say you have a child with a cognitive disability, and your child will never be able to live independently on his or her own. Knowing that only you can offer the highest level of love, attention and care, it can be frightening to consider what will happen to your adult child with special needs if you become incapacitated.

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