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Many older people do not take estate planning seriously

Crafting an estate plan is something all Illinois residents should do. While it is important for people of all ages, it is even more critical for those 55 and older. However, recent research indicates that those in this age range have not taken the necessary steps to draft estate planning documents. According to Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, almost half of those 55 and older have failed to craft any estate plan. Since many family disputes, financial problems and more have emanated from the failure to take this basic step, it is important to understand the importance of these documents and to discuss them with a legal professional.

Financial planners believe that people are not taking these steps not because of finances, but because it is something they prefer not to think about despite its inevitability. This is not limited to people with moderate assets and income. Wealthy people often fail to draft a will or other estate planning documents.

How is the amount and duration of spousal support determined?

Illinois couples who are getting a divorce will frequently be in dispute over a litany of issues. Family law can be a complicated matter with many concerns for both parties. When one spouse is ordered to pay spousal support - also referred to as alimony or maintenance - the amount that will be paid and how long it will last are common worries. On the other side of the coin, the receiving spouse will want to know how much he or she will receive and its duration. Understanding what the law says about this is a fundamental part of a case. So too is having legal advice throughout the process.

When the court decides on spousal support, there are guidelines that will be used. If the parties' gross income in combination is less than $250,000 and the paying spouse is not obligated to pay support of any kind from a prior relationship, the amount paid will be calculated by discerning the paying spouse's gross income and taking 30 percent and subtracting 20 percent of the receiving spouse's gross income. The amount added to the receiving spouse's gross income cannot go beyond 40 percent of the couple's gross income.

What guidelines are used for child support in Illinois?

When a couple in Illinois ends a marriage, they must consider how they will handle child support. It is important to have a grasp on what state law says about the process in which it is calculated. All parents will agree that support for their children is an integral point that should not be ignored. However, there are frequent disagreements as to the amount that must be paid. The goal of the guidelines is to have a basis of what will be paid. This is to avoid dispute and make the process as reasonable for both sides as possible. However, there can still be disagreements about support. Having legal advice is imperative in these cases.

The parents' income will determine how much child support must be paid. Income shares are the basis of how much is to be paid. With income shares, there is a table that will consider the parents' combined income and a percentage that will be gauged based on what was spent on the child when the parents were living together. If the couple has a shared parenting agreement, with the parents having the child for an equal number of overnights per year, the support obligation will be multiplied by 1.5. The amount of time the parents spend with the child will be factored into the child support obligation.

Take stock of your estate planning needs

Estate planning is a priority that many adults tend to overlook simply because it isn't something that is likely to come up in thought very often. Unfortunately, failing to take the time to create one can spell disaster for your family members because they might not be cared for.

If you need to create an estate plan, you should be prepared for the process. There are many steps. You have to go into the process prepared for what's to come so that you can make the decisions that are in your best interests.

How can Chapter 13 bankruptcy help Indiana residents?

Financial challenges are nothing new to people in Indiana and across the nation. Given the current state of the economy and the difficult nature of government gridlock, people are increasingly finding themselves in need of assistance to get back on stronger financial ground. Filing for bankruptcy is frequently considered a last resort. People might think bankruptcy is an effort to avoid responsibility and not live up to their debts. However, once they understand that it is a legal strategy to obtain a better financial circumstance moving forward, they realize they can benefit from it. For those who want to stop foreclosure and stop repossession, Chapter 13 is the wisest step.

There are certain benefits with Chapter 13, but it is imperative to understand the requirements. With Chapter 13, the debts will be repaid over a period of three or five years. This is a plan for people who are wage-earners. The amount they earn per month will determine if the plan will be for three or five years. Chapter 13 is different from Chapter 7 in that Chapter 7 is liquidation where the person's property is sold to pay back the debt. If a person has no valuable property, it is preferable to file for Chapter 7. Chapter 13, however, lets people keep a home, a car and more.

Family law issues require experienced Illinois legal help

When an Illinois couple gets married, the goal is that they will have a family and remain together to achieve a happy life. For many, this is the result and they enjoy their lives together battling through inevitable disputes and keeping their marriage intact. For others, however, the issues become too much, and they decide that a divorce is the best course of action. Some divorces are amicable, while others are contentious. Most end up somewhere in between.

Regardless of the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, there are certain fundamental family law issues that should be considered. Property division, finances, child support, child custody and much more will arise. In some cases, there is disagreement about all of these issues. The litany of concerns when a marriage is ending make it wise to have legal assistance to handle the case.

A new year means a rise in family law issues and divorce

Many people throughout Illinois will view the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. It can also include drastic changes, such as deciding to end a marriage. Whether it is a high asset divorce or one of more modest means, the foundation of a dispute can vary and spark one or both spouses to take the necessary steps to end the marriage. While family law issues are generally perceived to have no specific time and date at which they reach their apex, statistics show that certain times in the year have more divorces than others. January is one such time with "Divorce Day" part of the lexicon.

This day is the first day in which everyone is back at work and resuming their normal routine after the holidays. People will frequently begin that day by contacting a legal professional to discuss a divorce. This rise in filings continues for the entire first month of every new year. People are believed to be hoping that a new year will be the ideal time to divorce and start over. There are several reasons why this is believed to be so. Since people are often involved in family gatherings from the end of November through the new year, it can bring lingering tensions to a boil and result in people deciding that they can no longer continue with the marriage. After the holidays, they will act on that feeling and move forward with a divorce proceeding.

When will I get a discharge after filing for bankruptcy?

Financial challenges can impact anyone and Indiana residents who are experiencing these problems will frequently be unsure of what they can do to get into a better financial situation. While it might seem as if there is no way out, filing for bankruptcy is a viable and beneficial strategy to discharge a significant portion of debt or to even clear it completely. As with any legal issue, having a lawyer's advice is critical.

Those who are reluctant to move forward with a bankruptcy and are hesitant due to the stigma that is unfairly attached to it should understand how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help. One aspect of the process is knowing when the discharge will be granted. There are different time-frames for when the discharge is complete. Those who are moving forward with a Chapter 7 liquidation will get the discharge sooner than those who are repaying their debt with a Chapter 13.

Meeting an infant's needs with your parenting plan

A parenting plan must take the child's age into account or it is bound to be unsuccessful. The needs of a teenager are much different from those of an infant. Having to go through a child custody issue with an infant isn't easy. The arrangement that you use for this will likely only work while the child is a baby.

Several factors must be considered when you are trying to come up with a plan for an infant.

Does Illinois family law allow a joint simplified dissolution?

The prevailing opinion of a divorce is that the couple will be in dispute over every single issue and the case will take extensive time to complete. While that is true in some cases, not all divorces are so acrimonious. Many couples simply determine that their family legal issues cannot be repaired and they are better served to move on. There is no major disagreement and they have decided to part ways as cleanly and quickly as possible. It is in these cases where a joint simplified dissolution might be the preferred option.

There are certain requirements to have a joint simplified dissolution. The parties must stipulate that they are not relying on one other for support. They can also waive the right to receive support. The residency requirement in the state must be met or they must have met the military residence requirement. They must show that they have irreconcilable differences. The couple cannot have children from the relationship, nor can children have been adopted while they were married. The wife cannot be pregnant by the husband at the time.


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