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Bond in Lieu of Probate and Real Estate Closings

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Real Estate Legacy Planning

IL probate lawyerProbate is best avoided if at all possible. The taxes and court costs that come with putting an estate through probate can significantly diminish the estate’s assets, leaving the beneficiaries with much less than the decedent intended. Even when there is a will controlling who should receive what, there is a substantial risk that probate fees will force beneficiaries to sell property - including real estate - that they should have been able to keep in order to cover estate taxes. One way to keep your real estate properties out of probate is to use a bond in lieu of probate. If you plan to use this legal strategy, it is best to prepare for using a bond in lieu of probate when you close on the property. A Yorkville, IL real estate transactions and estate planning lawyer can help you prepare.

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Minimizing Power of Attorney Risks: Adult Children as Trustees

 Posted on May 07, 2024 in Estate Planning

Blog ImageA comprehensive estate plan should involve both a trust and powers of attorney. Powers of attorney and trusts both have a legal impact during your lifetime. When you create a trust and transfer property into the trust, the trust as an entity becomes the owner of all property placed in it. Unless you use an irrevocable trust for asset protection, you can still retain complete control over the property you place in your trust during your lifetime. Your powers of attorney most likely have an effect only if you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Should this occur, your agent can take control of things like your financial affairs and medical decisions.

One way to minimize the risks associated with powers of attorney is to add your adult children as trustees during your lifetime. A Kendall County, IL estate planning lawyer can help you devise an estate plan that protects you and your beneficiaries.

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Small Business Estate Planning 101

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerWhen you have worked hard to build up a small business, you probably want that business to become a part of your legacy. There are steps you can take during the estate planning process to give your business the best chances of surviving and thriving long after you are gone. Or, if you know that your business is not likely to survive you for any reason, you can plan for the people you care about most to benefit from the company in another way. Small business owners should be represented by a Kendall County, IL estate planning attorney who is experienced in succession planning for small companies.

Tips for Small Business Owners

Some estate planning tips for small business owners include:

  • Consider your successor - Is there someone else who can take over running the business? If you have business partners, consider using a buy-sell agreement so that they can buy out your ownership interest from your chosen beneficiary when you are gone. Or, if you have an adult son or daughter who can take over the business, you may be able to leave him or her your ownership interest directly. 

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Transferring the Title to Your House After Death

 Posted on April 08, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerThere are several ways you can prepare to transfer the title to your house after you are gone. Your options may include using a will, a trust, or a Transfer on Death Instrument (TODI). Some methods of passing your real estate on to your loved ones posthumously are more efficient - and easier for your beneficiary - than others. Your house is likely one of your most valuable assets. Most homeowners work hard to buy their homes and have put a great deal of work into it over the years. You have probably invested a lot of time, money, and work into buying and improving your home, so it is important to work with a Yorkville, IL attorney to make sure that your wishes regarding who should own your home when you pass away will be respected.

Ways to Transfer Ownership of Your Home After Death

An attorney can help you decide which method of planning for a loved one to take title to your house once you are not here to enjoy it any longer is likely to serve you and your beneficiaries best. Your options may include: 

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How to Amend a Will or Trust in Illinois

 Posted on March 22, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerPeople make changes to their estate plans for a number of reasons. You may have become estranged from someone you had named as a beneficiary. A house you left to someone in your will may have been sold when you moved into a retirement home. Your financial situation could have changed, meaning that you have new assets to account for in your will or trust. When you choose to make changes to a will or trust, it is important to follow the correct legal procedure. Attempting to do it yourself might result in the creation of an unenforceable document. It is important to have a Kendall County, IL estate planning attorney help you make amendments properly.

Amending or Changing a Will in Kendall County, IL

If you are making substantial changes to your will, such as eliminating a beneficiary, changing who receives what, or adding a significant amount of new property, it is may be better to make a new will. This means that you will formally revoke your former will and replace it with a will that expresses your current wishes. While you can use a codicil to make minor changes - for example, if you were going to leave your son a Honda Civic but you traded it in for a Toyota Tacoma and want him to have that instead - codicils can become complicated. The formalities that apply to will execution apply to codicils.

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Estate Planning for Blended Families in Illinois

 Posted on March 07, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate plan lawyerHaving a blended family can be wonderful. Many step-parents enjoy having “bonus children,” as the children may enjoy having “bonus parents.” Conversely, there may be significant conflict among blended families, especially if your step-children were already adults when you married their mother or father. Some children refuse to accept their step-parent. There are even situations where some people have step-children they barely know or have never met. You might also consider yourself part of a blended family if your own parents are divorced and you have close relationships with your step-siblings. Being part of a blended family can complicate your estate planning in some ways. If you have a blended family, it is important to clarify your familial relationships when you are working with a Yorkville, IL estate planning attorney.

How Step-Children Can Factor into Your Estate Plans

Under Illinois laws of descent and distribution, your step-children are not automatically considered your children for purposes of estate planning. You would need to formally adopt your step-children if you intend for them to count as your children under the law. However, this mainly applies to intestacy - dying without an estate plan. If you are taking the time to create an estate plan, you are free to specify that your step-children should be considered your children when it is time to carry out your plans. Your attorney can help you include language in your will or trust to make sure that your step-children are treated as your own children.

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Four Different Types of Special Needs Trusts in Illinois

 Posted on February 26, 2024 in Estate Planning

Yorkville, IL special needs trust lawyerSpecial needs trusts are essential tools for individuals with disabilities to ensure their financial security while maintaining eligibility for government benefits. In Illinois, several types of special needs trusts serve different purposes and cater to varying needs. Understanding these trusts is crucial for individuals and families navigating the complex landscape of disability planning. For legal assistance, contact a qualified attorney to ensure you can meet your legal goals.

Third-Party Special Needs Trust

A third-party special needs trust is commonly used by parents, grandparents, or other relatives to provide for a loved one with a disability without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. This trust is funded with the assets of someone other than the individual with a disability. It can be tailored to meet specific needs such as medical costs, education, housing, and more.

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Revocable Trusts for Parents with Young Children

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Estate Planning

Yorkville, IL estate planning lawyerAs parents, ensuring our young children's well-being and financial security is a top priority. One effective tool for achieving this goal is a revocable trust. If you are a parent interested in learning more about estate planning and ways you can ensure your young children are protected financially, contact a lawyer in Illinois, as they will possess the legal knowledge to highlight how this estate planning tool can provide peace of mind and protect the interests of your children.

The Basics of Revocable Trusts

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer ownership of your assets into a trust while retaining control over them during your lifetime. As the name suggests, this type of trust can be modified or revoked anytime, providing flexibility and adaptability as your circumstances change. 

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Seller Real Estate Closing Tips 

 Posted on January 29, 2024 in Real Estate

Yorkville Real Estate LawyerSelling real estate is a significant financial transaction that requires careful attention to legal details. To ensure a successful closing, being well-prepared and knowledgeable about the process is crucial. Hiring a real estate lawyer is a critical step to ensure a successful closing. By hiring a qualified real estate attorney, you can take a lot of the unknown out of the process, as the legal professional you hire will be equipped with knowledge in Illinois real estate law to take the case head on and ensure the real estate closing process when you are the seller is as seamless as possible. 

Gather and Organize Important Real Estate Documents

Before listing your property, gather and organize all relevant documents, such as the deed, title insurance policy, survey, and property tax records. Potential buyers and their attorneys will request these documents during the due diligence process. Having them readily available will expedite the transaction and demonstrate your preparedness and professionalism. Your attorney will be instrumental in ensuring all relevant documents are organized and gathered 

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Why Wills Must Go Through Probate 

 Posted on January 15, 2024 in Asset Protection & Wealth Preservation

Yorkville Estate Planning LawyerProbate is a legal process that validates and administers a deceased person's will. While it may seem like an added burden during an already difficult time, probate serves several crucial purposes. If you seek legal assistance related to wills and the probate process, experienced lawyers can take some of the pain out of the process. When you hire a legal professional, they will be able to adequately shed light on the importance of probate in ensuring that the assets in your loved ones will are appropriately distributed and that your deceased loved one's wishes are respected. 

Probate Can Validate the Will

Probate ensures that the Illinois will presented is the authentic last will of the deceased. The court will then examine the document's validity, verifying that it meets the legal requirements, such as being properly executed, signed, and witnessed. This validation process helps prevent fraudulent or invalid wills from being enforced, ensuring that the deceased's true intentions are honored.

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