Estate Planning for Married Couples

Estate Planning for Married Couples can be done in consultation jointly, or quite individually.  In the case of second and third marriages, special considerations are normally observed because of children from previous marriages.  Estate planning should focus not only on providing for the surviving spouse, but also providing that each spouse’s estate will pass to his . . . → Read More: Estate Planning for Married Couples

Joint Property

Joint Property – in Illinois, and most jurisdictions, can be titled in various ways.  An understanding of how each different type of joint property is essential for estate planning purposes.  Here are some very different ways of holding title to joint property:

Tenants in Common: When an asset or property is held by two or more individuals . . . → Read More: Joint Property

Civil Union Couples – Estate Planning

Civil Union Couples – Estate planning is now essential.  With the passage of the HB 2234, ptherwise known as the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act,  a person who has entered into a civil union shall be included in any definition of use of the terms:  SPOUSE, FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, DEPENDENT, and NEXT OF . . . → Read More: Civil Union Couples – Estate Planning

Estate Plan Review and Modification

Estate plan review and modification should take place intermittently after wills, trusts and Powers of Attorney are executed.  Guidelines regarding WHEN estate plans should be reviewed are as follows:

Large Estates – where assets are valued in the millions, marital exemption trusts are established, and federal taxes are an issue, an estate plan should be reviewed annually.

Small . . . → Read More: Estate Plan Review and Modification

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

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Uniform Transfers to Minors Act is designed to allow for the transfer of money to a minor without the need for attorney drafted special trust.   Often used by grandparents as a tax planning device, the IRS allows for annual gifting, of up to $13,000,  to any other person without  tax consequences. . . . → Read More: Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

Illinois Living Will Act

Illinois Living Will Act was enacted by the legislature in recognition of the right of an individual to make a written declaration instructing his or her physician to withhold or withdraw death delaying procedures in the event of a terminal condition.  Executing an advanced directive, such as a Living Will, is an integral component of any . . . → Read More: Illinois Living Will Act

Power of Appointment

What is a power of appointment?  A question that is often asked by individuals and couples when engaged in the process of estate planning, is not as easily answered.

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As defined by the Internal Revenue Code, a “general power of appointment” is a power which can be exercised in favor of the decedent, his . . . → Read More: Power of Appointment

Trusts – Types and Uses

Trusts – Types and Uses:  There are many forms of Trusts, other than a revocable or “Living Trust.”

Here are some types of trusts, with explanations of their uses and functions:

Family Trust – commonly a testamentary trust (created upon the death of the testator), usually gives income to the surviving spouse and the remainder to descendents, without . . . → Read More: Trusts – Types and Uses

Doctrine of Probable Intent

Doctrine of Probable Intent – an interesting approach involving the judicial creation of Supplemental Needs Trusts for disabled adult daughters of an intestate decedent, ultimately disallowed by a state appeals court in New Jersey.

Emphasizing again the need for timely estate planning, the decedent retained an attorney for the purpose of creating supplement trusts for her disabled . . . → Read More: Doctrine of Probable Intent

Power of Attorney for Health Care

Power of Attorney for Health Care is another example of a very basic, and affordable, means of estate planning, which, if used correctly, will enable a person to maintain control of health care and end-of-life decisions, even if unable to communicate or direct those decisions.

In enacting the Power of Attorney for Health Act, 755 ILCS 45/4-1, . . . → Read More: Power of Attorney for Health Care