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estate planning Archives

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.

Medicaid planning and the special needs trust

Although much of estate planning focuses on the distribution of assets upon an individual's death, part of that process is learning how best to protect those assets during an individual's life so that they can actually be passed down to heirs and beneficiaries. One threat to an estate's financial health is long-term care. The costs associated with long-term care can be exorbitant, leaving an estate severely damaged.

More women seeking estate planning education

Planning and preparing for the future is a difficult task many put off. Some Illinois and Indiana residents mistakenly believe that estate planning is a process that is meant for the wealthy. Instead, the reality is that various aspects of estate planning can benefit individuals of all walks of life. With that being said, there has been a trend amongst those seeking education about estate planning and wealth management, that being an increase in participation by women.

Stan Lee's estate plan may be in jeopardy

Many people think that estate planning is an easy endeavor. Although this may be true enough for those who merely want to create a simple will, fully protecting one's assets often requires more in-depth planning. Regard of an estate's complexities, though, unexpected issues can arise that threaten the stability of an estate and its testator's plan.

Using trusts to address an heir's lack of prenuptial agreement

Oftentimes, there is crossover amongst areas of the law. A criminal charge, for example, may have a profound impact on family law matters like child custody. Since estate planning can encompass a wide swath of one's life, including business dealings and marital relationships, this type of crossover can be seen with some regularity when engaging in estate planning.

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