A conservatorship or legal guardianship is a legal means of stripping someone of their right to make certain decisions for themselves and is generally granted by the courts with the best of intentions. Many people who suffer mental health challenges or disabilities, dementia, or extreme physical disabilities require the help of someone who can make informed decisions that are in their best interests. However, a conservatorship is an extreme step and should be approached with great caution—an individual’s liberties are at stake! To avoid such a messy court battle for yourself, read this blog to develop a better understanding of the alternatives available to you now.
State laws differ on how to handle a missing will. Generally, if a document is lost or has been inadvertently destroyed (such as in a house fire), there are legal avenues for allowing a copy to be used in place of the original. Read this blog if you are unable to locate a loved one's original estate planning documents.
Money and property acquired during a marriage are classified as either community property or separate property. This classification is based on two factors: (1) where you live and (2) where the money and property are located. These property classifications and their implications can result in tense situations between not only couples, but other family members as well. But, a carefully drafted estate plan can help you express your wishes regarding how you want your property treated. Read this blog for a better understanding of community vs. separate property.
Most of us have a library of digital assets that may include books, music, and movies. One of the benefits of owning these digital items is having a convenient way to access your favorite media indefinitely with just a few mouse clicks. But what happens to these assets when you dies? Read this article to learn more.
Giving gifts and other fringe benefits to employees can be an effective way for employers to show appreciation. But generous employers should understand that most gifts and bonuses—even small ones—have tax implications! Read this blog to ensure that you are in compliance with the IRS rules.
The largest contributing factors to generational loss of wealth are a lack of communication and trust among family members and the failure to prepare heirs. Generally, a matriarch's or patriarch's fears are the underlying reasons for not talking openly and honestly about money. Read this article to overcome those fears.
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out the decedent’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate or the trustee of their trust, there are some things you need to know. However, the attorney–client relationship extends solely to you. If you are currently serving as an executor or trustee and need assistance navigating the administration, this blog will provide more information about your rights, duties and obligations of an executor or trustee.
Annual exclusion gifts are transfers of money or property in an amount or value that does not exceed the annual gift tax exclusion which in 2021 is $15,000 per recipient. The Internal Revenue Service does not consider gifts that are equal to or less than the annual exclusion amount to be taxable gifts at all. Therefore, do not let constant political and financial speculation prevent you from making tax-free annual exclusion, medical payment, and educational gifts to or for the benefit of your loved ones. Read this blog for more ideas on tax-free gifts.
Although creating or updating your estate planning may seem like a daunting task, a proper estate plan can help address the concerns you may face as a senior citizen. We are here to help you! This blog provides information on some critical estate planning documents that you should consider as a senior citizen.
Comprehensive estate and financial plans are not just for the wealthy. Along with comprehensive estate and financial plans comes a team to help you create, manage, and support those plans. This team includes your estate planning attorney, financial advisor, certified public accountant, insurance agent, and even your spiritual advisor, who all work together to ensure that you are protected during your lifetime and that your loved ones and the causes you support are taken care of after your passing. Read more about how your estate and financial teams can support you during your life, as well as after your death.
You spend a significant part of your life building your business, and it becomes a major part of your legacy. But when you die, everything you have built may fall apart if you have not taken the time to create a business succession plan. Without such a plan in place, your business’s fate may be decided by a court instead of according to your wishes. Take actions now to position your business for continued success.
Although you hold title to all of your assets jointly before doing estate planning, it may make sense to set up separate Revocable Living Trusts (RLTs) - one for each spouse. Some of the benefits are greater asset protection and ease of administration after the first spouse's death. Read this blog for a better understanding of why an estate planning attorney generally recommends separate RLTs for married couples in Illinois.
“Basis” is a term used frequently in tax law but you may not really understand it. A basic knowledge of the concept can be very helpful for understanding important estate planning strategies used by your attorney and financial or tax advisors. Read this blog to learn more about what basis is.
Multilevel marketing (MLM) businesses sell products or services directly to retail customers using commission-based, non-salaried representatives who are encouraged to recruit new representatives and form their own sales networks. Understanding how MLM businesses work can help you avoid wasting time and money on an opportunity that is not a good fit—or is an outright scam.
Depending on how long a prior marriage lasted, the former couple may have engaged in certain levels of estate planning together. When that is the case, it is important to understand how a subsequent marriage can impact the estate planning from a prior marriage. If you or someone named in your estate planning documents has remarried, there are several major issues that you should be aware of, as well as steps you should take to ensure your estate planning continues to be appropriate for your current situation.
A financial power of attorney (POA) allows one or more people to act on your behalf if and when you become unable to act for yourself. However, a financial POA is not valid in certain situations.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies to “places of public accommodation,” was designed with physical spaces in mind, the proliferation of online services means that digital spaces must also comply with the ADA. Accordingly, websites and mobile apps must be accessible to disabled individuals.
Starting a new job is an exciting new chapter in your life. But you may feel overwhelmed by the introduction and review of the many different types of employee benefits. The human resources representative at your new company can address a lot of your concerns regarding your emplyee benefits and our estate planning attorney can help you create a proper estate plan to protect the legacy you are building. Call us today!
There are no bright-line rules to help business owners determine whether a noncompete agreement will be enforceable, so it can be challenging to craft one that will provide maximum protection without being vulnerable to a challenge in court. Call our office to get a referral to a trusted attorney to ensure that you are using the right document for your business protection needs and to navigate the applicable law in your local jurisdiction.
Is it time to update your estate plan? If so, is that something that you can (or should) do on your own? A quick examination of each of these changes, and the consequences of attempting to alter your own documents accordingly, may help you determine whether you need the help of a professional. Although it may seem harmless and straightforward at the time, unforeseen consequences can often arise when you attempt to edit such legal documents yourself.
After the death of a loved one, there are a variety of tasks that must be handled to wrap up your loved one’s final affairs. Selling the deceased person’s real estate is one of the more daunting tasks! This article contains a few of the key issues you should be aware of as you work through this process.