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.
A revocable trust is one that is created during the life of the grantor, and its primary uses are to manage property during the grantor’s life and reduce the cost and time associated with probate upon the grantor’s death while permitting the grantor to retain an amount of control over the assets it holds. Along with the ability to retain control over the assets in a revocable trust, a grantor retains the power to amend or even revoke the trust entirely during his life.
Knowing the differences between federal and state estate tax laws is essential for estate planning attorneys that want to ensure they are minimizing any tax burden on their clients.
An update is likely coming to the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act which will make it more efficient for the trustee of an Illinois trust to deal with third parties and trust property. Illinois SB1877 will write into the Act (760 ILCS 5) a new section expressly authorizing the trustee to use a “Certification of Trust” in order to deal with trust affairs.
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.
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.