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Bristol Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys

 Posted on January 04, 2023 in Estate Planning


Bristol Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys

Bristol Living Trust Lawyers

Estate planning is a legal specialty that assists people and families plan their legal future. There are key legal documents, which are essential in a well-planned and executed estate plan. Estate planning is designed to provide peace of mind and provide financial security. Estate planning is a crucial step in providing for one’s retirement planning goals. 

There are four (4) major documents, which are the foundation of estate planning. These documents include the following:

  • Living Trust or otherwise known as a “Revocable Living Trust” or “Family Trust”

  • Illinois Short Form Statutory Attorney for Finances

  • Illinois Short Form Statutory Attorney for Healthcare

  • Pour Over Will


Montgomery Living Trust Lawyers

The first major document in a solid estate plan is a living trust. A living trust is a legal document called a “trust agreement,” which is a written document declaring your wishes upon death or disability. A living trust may be revoked or modified while one is living and has capacity. A person holds their assets in the trust’s name and the trust is managed by a trustee or co-trustee, which is appointed by the creator of the trust. The creator of the trust is called a “grantor” or “trustor.” The grantor or the trustor is the person (or couple) that created the living trust. 

A revocable living trust allows changes to be made because it is “revocable.” An irrevocable trust prohibits changes to be made. A living trust is often used for estate planning. On the contrary, an irrevocable trust is often aimed at asset protection and wealth preservation. Creating a living trust is like renting a house because one can change their mind and make changes. An irrevocable change is difficult to amend because the trustor or grantor lacks “control” and the ability to scan their minds. 

An irrevocable trust is used for Medicaid planning. Medicaid Planning and Trust are created to protect one’s assets from nursing home care. A Medicaid Trust is an example of an irrevocable trust where assets are transferred outside of a person’s name. A person’s motivation is often asset protection and avoiding the dissipation of assets in the event of nursing home care. Another example of advanced planning is the creation of an irrevocable life insurance trust (or “ILIT”). 

An ILIT is designed to own life insurance and to provide estate and gift taxation planning.

There are several types of a living trusts. A Joint Trust is created between a married couple (or partners) and is designed to create a straightforward process to manage one’s joint assets. A Joint Trust has a co-trustee, which manages the administration and management of trust assets. Married couples often find it easier to manage their joint assets and provide distributions upon death into the marital trust (or joint living trust). Another type of living trust is a single trust. A single trust is used by single persons or married couples to manage non-marital assets. A single trust may also be designed to own an asset that is only intended to be owned by one spouse (not both). A single trust is a good planning tool for non-marital property for a spouse that was previously married. Here at Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC, we provide customized estate planning to address a couple's or a person’s specific circumstances.

One of the major benefits of a living trust is probate avoidance. Probate is a court-supervised process, which often leads to estate disputes. Estate disputes and conflicts require estates and trusts attorneys, which charge thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs. Legal fees and costs also create a legacy, which destroys families and causes major disruptions. Probate is required for the administration of a will, unlike a living trust. A living trust creates a smooth process to pass one’s assets to another in a seamless manner without the need for probate. Consulting an estate planning attorney is a wise decision. 


Montgomery Illinois Power of Attorney for Healthcare Lawyers

A healthcare power of attorney for property is also known as an “Illinois Short-Form Statutory Power of Attorney for Healthcare” or “healthcare proxy.” The power of attorney for healthcare is a legal document where the creator of the document appoints a person to make healthcare decisions for themselves. A power of attorney for healthcare is made when a person lacks the ability to make decisions for themselves or immediately upon signing. Consulting an estates and trusts attorney can assist you with deciding what is best for you.

The power of attorney for healthcare makes the following decisions:

  • Making medical decisions affecting you

  • Determining what methods of medical decisions are appropriate

  • Deciding living arrangements and making decisions involving medical care such as where and what procedures to undergo and what hospital or facilities to enter

In Illinois, a healthcare power of attorney is prescribed under Illinois law. Illinois law is governed by the Illinois Short Form Statutory Form for Healthcare, which details why and how people could appoint a person to make critical health decisions for themselves. The power of attorney for healthcare must be in writing, signed by at least one witness, and notarized by a notary public. 

Two witnesses are recommended because varying states have differing rules. People often move to states and expect their legal documents to be valid. Appointing an alternative agent is a wise decision because your first agent may be unavailable. One must carefully decide, which person is best able to make their medical decisions in the event of their unavailability. 

Reviewing your goals with an estate planning attorney in Montgomery, Illinois is a smart decision. An estate planning attorney is skilled in the areas of estates, trusts, and wills. It is also a good decision to discuss your healthcare wishes with your attorney and family members. A primary purpose of a medical power of attorney is to empower an individual to make the healthcare decisions, which are most appropriate for them. Otherwise, the State of Illinois will dictate how and who makes your medical decisions. You may revoke your power of attorney for healthcare at any time if you can make decisions.

A power of attorney for finances or otherwise known as a “financial power of attorney” or “durable power of attorney for property” is a legal instrument where a principal appoints a person to be their agent. An agent is a responsible person that is empowered to manage a person’s finances, pay their bills, make significant property decisions, and open and chase bank accounts (among many other powers). A principal has the authority to customize the property decisions to their specific situation. A principal must appoint a trusted person because this person may determine their economic security and their financial future.

Unlike a power of attorney for healthcare, a power of attorney for property decision-making makes decisions impacting one’s financial decision-making. A principal can revoke or modify their financial power of attorney. In Illinois, a power of attorney for property must be in writing, signed by one witness, and notarized. 

It is highly recommended that multiple agents be considered if one person is unavailable (or determines they wish not to serve in the role of power of attorney). A power of attorney for property is a core estate planning strategy to provide economic security and a solid retirement plan. Consulting with an estate planning attorney is important to ensure the proper rules and procedures are followed.


Pour Over Will

A Pour Over Will is a legal document, which is considered a “safety-net.” The Pour Over Will is a safety net because it is designed to be used when the grantor failed to transfer assets into the living trust’s name. The key issue with a living trust is transferring assets into a trust’s name. Transferring property into a trust’s name assists in bypassing probate court because the trust agreement will govern only when assets are titled in the trust’s name. 

The Pour Over Will is used in concert with a Living Trust. The Pour Over Will is used when assets were never transferred to the trust (or the family failed to make the trust the beneficiary of assets such as life insurance or bank accounts). A Deed in Trust is the type of deed used when a person transfers their real estate property into the trust’s name. The assets bypass outside of probate court where the assets are re-titled correctly, and a trust agreement is well-written and devises a well-written and realistic estate plan. The beneficiary of a pour over will be the living trust. The pour over will be administered upon a person’s death and the living trust is a private document. Therefore, the will is a public document, but the beneficiary of the trust is a living trust, which is a private document. As a private document, the public is not entitled to the details of a person’s living trust.


Bristol Living Trust Lawyers: Creating Processes for a Smooth Transition Upon Death or Incapacity

In conclusion, estate planning is a wise and cost-effective decision. A key component of estate planning is planning for the inherent risks that exist in a family. Often, people and couples are incapable of having difficult conversations with their spouses and children especially when stepchildren and parents are involved. An estate planning attorney serves the role of mediator and asks questions, which are often missed by the couple. The estate planning attorney seeks answers, that the clients have. The estate planning lawyer provides an objective and experienced approach that provides comprehensive protection and planning. Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC is available by calling 630-882-2467 or filling out the online contact form.

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