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Sugar Grove Estate Planning Attorney: Protecting Your Assets & Securing a Positive Legacy

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Estate Planning

kendall county estate planning lawyerWealth preservation and estate planning are critical to providing peace of mind and creating a legacy. Estate planning is the process of setting up one’s assets in a manner that facilitates a smooth transition upon one’s death or incapacity. Estate planning assists in achieving the goals of enhancing financial security and protecting one’s family assets from taxes and liability risks such as lawsuits and other risks.

Sugar Grove Wealth Preservation Attorney

Protecting a family’s wealth is important because one lawsuit can threaten a lifetime of good decision-making. Creating an estate planning that fits your family circumstances is critical because it eliminates legal risks, which results in thousands of dollars in saved attorney’s fees and expenses. There are several legal instruments, which enhance a person and family’s economic security and assist to create a solid foundation with regard to estates and trusts.

Sugar Grove Living Trust Lawyer

A living trust is a legal instrument where a grantor (or trustor) transfers their assets into a trust, which is managed by a trustee (or co-trustees). A living trust is an estate planning tool that helps avoid probate court and creates a smooth transfer after a person deceases. A living trust is also known as a “revocable living trust” or “grantor trust.” 

A living trust is revokable, which means that it may be modified as your circumstances change. Unlike an irrevocable trust, which is a permanent decision, a living trust is amendable. A living trust also plans for one’s incapacity because the living trust takes effect immediately and creates solid transition plan in case of one’s incapacity. Without a living trust and power of attorney, a guardianship court may be required to address a person’s incapacity. Guardianship is a court, which oversees disabled adults that lack the ability to make their own independent decisions. A guardian is appointed to oversee their estates and the court supervises the administration and must authorize financial transactions of the estate. Guardianship is an intrusive process and is public record. A living trust is a private document and is not subject to court proceedings.

An asset protection plan is a legal strategy that is devised to diversify one’s financial holdings to isolate the legal risks. Isolating the legal risks of one’s financial assets lowers the liability risks. The liability risks are lowered because tools prevent unwanted intrusions, which threaten one’s economic security. By segregating legal risks, such as setting up limited liability companies for real estate holdings, the family’s liability concerns are decreased. Asset protection is like setting up virus protection for each family of computers. By providing virus protection, the family limits liability concerns to each property (or computer in our example).

Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A power of attorney for healthcare is also known as an “Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Healthcare” or “healthcare proxy.” A healthcare proxy is where a person appoints another person to make healthcare decisions in case of their unavailability. Unavailability means that a person may be incapable of making their own independent decisions due to a capacity impairment. In the alternative, many seniors, and parents desire for their children to assist them in making healthcare decisions. 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or otherwise known as “HIPAA” is a federal law that protects against unauthorized disclosure of one’s medical information. HIPAA. Is a major concern for healthcare providers because the penalties for non-compliance are high. Healthcare companies must set up safeguards to protect a patient’s confidentiality and avoid public disclosure of one’s personal healthcare records, and diagnostic test results. The power of attorney includes a HIPAA release, which enables an agent, which is appointed by a person to assist them with medical decisions can access their private health information. A healthcare company must provide safeguards to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of a person’s private healthcare.

Power of Attorney for Property

A power of attorney for property is also known as a “financial poa” or “financial power of attorney” because a person appoints another person to assist or to make their financial decisions for themselves. The power of attorney for property is useful because a person requires assistance in making important financial decisions when they are incapable to making those decisions. As a person ages, the risks of mental decline and dementia is enhanced. The power of attorney for property is a powerful tool that provides a mechanism to empower a person’s spouse or family to make financial decisions when one is incapable to making these decisions. A power of attorney for property also may be used when a person has difficulty in making banking and financial decisions due to their immobility.

The use of a power of attorney for property and healthcare are essential building blocks for protecting one against the liability risks of incapacity. A living trust is a powerful estate planning tool that provides incapacity planning unlike a last will. A living trust is a private document and in the trust agreement, a person appoints a successor trustee to assist them in case of their incapacity or death. The trust agreement sets forth a person’s wishes upon incapacity or death. One of the important decisions is who shall be appointed in the event of a financial emergency. The trust agreement reduces a person’s liability risks and saves thousands of dollars in legal fees and expenses. Moreover, a living trust provides a person peace of mind versus being a victim of the guardianship court system where they are a number, and a stranger decides what is and is not appropriate for you. Creating a power of attorney is a way to give a person control over their own private affairs. 

One of the roles of an estate planning attorney is to assist a family to predict their financial vulnerabilities and financial risks. The estate planning lawyer serves the role of a mediator and asks questions, which often produces surprises. These surprises are a good thing because the client and estate planning lawyer can create a realistic plan to address their liability concerns.

A Last Will and Testament Must Go through a Court Supervised Probate Process

People often falsely believe that a last will and testament is a good estate planning tool. The last will and testament are an inefficient and costly means of transferring one’s wealth to their loved ones. A living trust is a cost-effective and practical solution for families because it avoids the inefficiency and expense of probate court. Probate court is the court, which supervises the administration of a descendant’s estate. Estate conflicts occur because of probate because family members have competing interests, which are increased due to greed. Conflicts occur over money disputes, which divide families and produce harmful legacies that were harmed because of a family’s failure to address their estate situation.

A disgruntled heir is incentivized to challenge the validity of a will because it enhances their leverage, which is the key to obtaining a greater share of inheritance. Consulting an estates and trusts lawyer is a good decision because we assist people to produce legacies, which promote family harmony and create a smooth transition upon one’s death.

Sugar Grove Estate Planning Attorney: Providing Peace and Family Harmony

Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC is a boutique law firm specializing in wealth preservation, asset protection, and estate planning. Our lawyers and support staff help families with their financial security goals. Our staff and lawyers understand how to create customized solutions, which produce peace of mind and smooth transition of one’s assets upon their death or disability. Set up a free initial consultation today by calling 630-882-2467 or contacting us by filling out the online form.

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