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Don’t Let Your Cryptocurrency Give You and Your Loved Ones Nightmares

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Mar 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

If you own cryptocurrency, you need a plan - a plan for the distribution of this asset type after your death. Part of that plan is organizing your investment and necessary information that your loved ones will need in order to access your cryptocurrency. The following stories are each a little different, but they all underline the simple warning: you need a plan! Read this blog to learn more.

Important Milestones You Can Incorporate in Your Estate Plan

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 17, 2023 | 0 Comments

Because life changes quickly and sometimes unexpectedly, your estate plan needs to be flexible. By creating incentives for particular events, you can continue to exercise your values and provide for your loved ones beyond your lifetime. Read this blog to learn more about incentive-based provisions in an estate plan.

Does the Guardian for My Child Have to Be a United States Citizen?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

A decision that needs to be made during the estate planning process is who will care for your child if both you and the child's other legal parent die unexpectedly. It is not uncommon to have close friends and family members who live in a different country and they may be a good choice as a guardian for your minor child. But it raises the question of whether a non-US citizen may legally qualify for guardianship. To learn more, continue reading this blog.

What US Businesses Should Know About the GDPR

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy law that protects the personal information of individuals (or as the law refers to them, “data subjects”) in the European Union (EU). The GDPR does not necessarily apply to all US businesses with a European presence, nor are the obligations the same for all businesses to which the GDPR applies. But, if it does apply to your business, you need to have a clear understanding about your legal obligations because GDPR penalties can be steep. Read this blog to learn more about GDPR.

Things You Can Do to Help Prove You Are Mentally Competent When Executing Your Estate Plan

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

In most states, there is a legal presumption that people have capacity to create their estate planning documents and that they can transfer their property to whomever they would like. Therefore, a person challenging your plan has the burden of proving that you did not have the requisite mental capacity at the time your documents were signed. Read this blog for some proactive steps you can take to provide evidence of your competency when you create or update your estate plan.

Your Planning Team for Your Next Adventure

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

When planning your next great travel adventure, you may decide that you can do it yourself. However, you need to consider calling in a special planning team to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected during your travels and afterward. Read this blog to learn which members you need on your team and then schedule time with each of them well in advance of your travel dates.

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts: What You Should Know

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

No one wants to pay more taxes than they have to so many people search for the perfect estate planning tool that will allow them to control as much of their money and property as possible while reducing the amount they or their loved ones will have to pay in taxes after their death. A spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT) is an irrevocable trust that can achieve this goal for some married couples. Keep reading to learn more.

The Death of Anne Heche: Lessons for Estate Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

Anne Heche's accidental death was a shocking reminder of how the everyday can quickly turn into the tragic and provided some tough lessons about the need for estate planning. Rather than Heche's estate being distributed according to her final wishes, it is now subject to state law and a very long and public probate court proceeding since she did not formalize her wishes in accordance with California law. To learn more about the need for estate planning for everyday life, read this blog.

What Is a Blind Trust?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

There are situations in which a person may want to set up a trust to be used during their lifetime for their own benefit to maintain privacy or avoid a potential conflict of interest. In such cases, a blind trust might be appropriate. To learn more about blind trusts, read this blog.

What if I Cannot Find a Beneficiary?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 20, 2023 | 0 Comments

As a fiduciary, you have an obligation to use reasonable diligence to locate a missing beneficiary. What is considered reasonable depends on the circumstances. To learn more about locating a missing beneficiary if you are serving as a decedent's fiduciary, continue reading this blog.

An Introduction to Dynasty Trusts

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

A dynasty trust is an irrevocable trust that offers the tax minimization and asset protection benefits of other types of trusts, but unlike a trust that ends with outright distributions to your children or grandchildren, a dynasty trust can span more than two generations. Because the trust could last for many years, and the rules generally cannot be changed once the trust is created, a dynasty trust must be set up with great care. Read this blog to learn more about dynasty trusts.

January is National Mentoring Month

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

January is National Mentoring Month. Mentors can have a positive impact on a young person’s life by sharing the wisdom, knowledge, and experience they have gained to help their mentee develop skills and goals that will enable them to succeed in life. And that includes in the area of estate planning. Read this blog to learn more about mentoring younger individuals with respect to estate planning.

FBI's Chicago Field Office Wanted & Missing Persons

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced that September 25th would be the national "If You See Something, Say Something" Awareness Day. In an effort to improve our community in 2023, we have provided a link to a list of the FBI's Chicago Field Office Wanted & Missing Persons website.

The Pros and Cons of Probate

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

Although we recommend that you avoid probate if at all possible, the probate process does have some advantages. This blog contains some reasons why a loved one may want to consider probating a decedent's estate. Keep reading to learn more.

Why a Trust Is the Best Option to Avoid Probate

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

Establishing a trust can seem a bit complicated, and the process can cost a bit more initially than preparing a will. However, if you are willing to invest a little more up front, a trust can be your best option for avoiding probate later. Read this blog for additional information about a trust and how your assets could avoid the probate process with a trust.

Three Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

One would assume that celebrities would take steps to protect their estates. The news is littered with celebrities that had poor - or even worse, no - estate planning. This blog covers 3 celebrities and the mistakes that they made. Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous, so read this blog for lessons you can learn to ensure your loved ones do not struggle after your death.

Three Reasons to Avoid Probate

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

While there are many reasons to avoid the probate process, there are 3 key reasons for probate avoidance. Do you know what they are? Read this blog to learn those reasons and why a living trust is a much better option for most people

Handling S Corporation Interests in Estate Planning: Electing Small Business Trusts and Qualified Subchapter S Trusts

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

There are various scenarios that should be considered by a business owner when it comes to estate planning with a viable business. And because of various laws, your estate planning must carefully address a business that is taxed as an S corporation. Read this blog for additional information about transferring an S corporation to a trust during the estate planning process.

Harmless Error Statute—A Saving Grace

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 02, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you die without a legally recognized will, your assets will typically subject to the your state's default rules that determine who will receive it. However, a better approach is to have a will properly prepared and executed to ensure that the terms of the will or trust are followed. For individuals who live in a state that has adopted a harmless error statute, even a document that does not meet all of the formal legal requirements of the state's statutes may still be considered valid and admitted to probate. Read this blog for more information regarding harmless error statutes.

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