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estate planning Archives

Search of late singer's home yields three holographic wills

Some individuals in Illinois might see news stories about relatives of famous or wealthy people engaged in an estate plan dispute, and they may think it does not apply to them. However, crafting estate planning documents is critical regardless of the circumstances. A prime example of why is exemplified with the estate of the late singer Aretha Franklin.

Estate planning is not just for wealthy people

Although formulating an estate plan is becoming more common for Illinois residents, there is still a perception that only those who are of significant means need to have one. This is a mistake that can be costly in multiple ways. Not only does it hinder attempts to preserve assets, but it can have tax implications, spark family disputes and cause other problems that are avoidable. Having a basic estate plan is critical and there are several reasons for these that people might not have considered.

A complete estate plan can avoid family struggles after death

End of life planning is not an easy matter for Illinois residents to come to grips with. This is true for people at any age. However, failing to have a comprehensive estate plan can cause problems after death. Family disputes, legal battles and more can come about if there is a hesitation or reluctance in drafting estate planning documents. Often, a main sticking point in drafting these documents is that the person - the testator - does not know what he or she needs. It is important to have legal advice that can tailor the estate plan to every individual's situation.

People in all income and asset situations can use trusts

For those in Illinois who are preparing for the future by determining what kind of estate plan would be best-suited for them, it is often viewed as easier and more expedient to simply have a basic will. While in many cases, this is wise, there are other strategies that might be better. Trusts are just such a device. Some might be under the impression that trusts are only for those with significant income and assets. However, that is not true. When deciding whether to use a trust or not, having legal advice from a law firm that specializes in estate planning is a must.

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.

IRS proposal tempers concerns about estate tax implications

Illinois residents who have significant assets and are drafting estate planning documents will have various concerns about how their loved ones will be taxed should understand various strategies to protect their wealth. This is where wise and proactive estate planning comes in. When preparing an estate plan based on the current financial climate and how the government views its role in taxing citizens, it is also important to plan for years to come.

Do not ignore the importance of an estate plan in Illinois

For many Illinois residents, thinking about an estate plan is an unwanted acknowledgement that life is finite. It is not something they want to consider, let along act upon. However, failure to have even a basic estate plan is a mistake that will have far-reaching ramifications for a person's family. This is avoidable by making sure the strategies for an estate plan are adhered to. Discussing the benefits of drafting estate planning documents with a law firm that specializes in these matters can put a person's mind at ease and prepare for the future.

Tips to effectively communicate about estate planning

Income, wealth and wealth management are not things that are commonly discussed in American households. When these topics do come up, it can leave the individuals involved feeling uncomfortable. This is one reason why so many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. We hope that the tips provided below will serve as a strong starting point for those who wish to have meaningful conversations with their loved ones about estate planning.

Don't forget about "soft" estate planning

When people accumulate wealth and property, they often think of ways to protect them. Most people who consider estate planning think of utilizing wills and trusts to protect their wealth for the benefit of their loved one. This is, in fact, a large part of estate planning, and it should be addressed consistently and appropriately. Doing so can allow an individual to protect his or her estate from unwanted taxes and distribution, and it can allow him or her to retain control over the estate's wealth for years to come.

The importance of legacy planning

When we purchase thing, we often do not think about what will happen to them after we pass. Most people who engage in estate planning look at it as a matter of leaving their possessions to their closest loved ones and doing as much as they can to ensure that creditors and tax collectors don't take too big of a bite out of their estate beforehand. While this is certainly a valiant endeavor that everyone should engage in, some Illinois and Indiana residents may want to engage in planning that is larger in scope. These individuals may want to approach estate planning in a way that seeks to protect their legacy.

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