Chances are at some point or another you and your spouse have brought up the topic of estate planning. Whether it was talking about writing wills or how to plan for retirement, it’s a common discussion for married couples to find themselves in. Often, though, couples are not entirely familiar with the planning doors marriage opens up.
Welcome to 2017! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the first few days of the New Year trying to get organized and set some goals for the year to come. Whether it’s a new workout regimen, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or something else, the start of a new year presents a natural opportunity to make some small changes to improve ourselves and our lives. One item that you may have been putting off for a while may be putting an estate plan in place to protect your family. And, if you haven’t done so, I’m happy to help you make 2017 the year you finally cross that ever-looming item off your to-do list.
Welcome to 2016! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the first few weeks of the New Year trying to get organized and set some goals for the year to come. Whether it’s a new workout regimen, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or something else, the start of a new year presents a natural opportunity to make some small changes to improve ourselves and our lives. One item that you may have been putting off for a while may be putting an estate plan in place to protect your family.
In 2015 it is estimated that 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's, most of those over the age of 65. Surprisingly though, a few hundred thousand of those cases occur in individuals younger than 65. As everyone knows, Alzheimer’s is a condition that reduces cognitive function due to degeneration of the brain. Unfortunately, the number of patients living with Alzheimer’s is only expected to rise over the next decade.
The leaves are just beginning to fall outside, but we’re already seeing changes to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act that will become effective on January 1, 2016. The changes are relatively minor compared to some of the most recent statutory restructuring that has occurred over the past few years. But, they are important nevertheless.
Drafting a complete estate plan can give a person peace of mind in the assurance that he and his loved ones will be taken care of should disability or death come knocking. One of the most common questions I get as an estate planning attorney is,
“What should I do with all these documents you just drafted for me?”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, pet ownership in the United States has more than tripled from the 1970s, when approximately 67 million households had pets, to 2012, when there were 167 million households that owned pets, or in other words, in 2012, 62 percent of households had at least one pet. That number is sure to be even higher now.
A power of attorney is a written agreement that authorizes a trusted individual to make decisions on your behalf and in your best interests. That person, or agent is tasked with carrying out your wishes, often times when you are unable to direct them how to do so.
Most people have heard of trusts, but often times when I begin a conversation with a client about whether a trust should be incorporated into their estate plan, I am met with blank stares and dozens of questions. If you have heard of a trust but don't really know what it does or how it works, you're not alone.
Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples presents some challenges not otherwise seen when planning for married couples. In states like Illinois, where same-sex marriage is legal, the challenges are now much easier to conquer than they were even a year ago, however, it's important for same-sex couples, both married and unmarried to know the implications to their estates should one of them become incapacitated or die.