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Britney Spears: A Cautionary Tale About Conservatorships

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Is Our Home Community Property or Separate Property, and Why Does It Matter?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

National Grandparents' Day

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

HAPPY GRANDPARENTS' DAY! As an estate planner, I am very aware of the importance of the bond between grandparents and grandchildren. Celebrate both the young and the old in your family today.

What Happens to Your Digital Movies When You Die?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Fears When Talking about Money

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Trust and Estate Administration: Whom Should You Bring to the Meetings?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Make Gifts That Your Family Will Love but the IRS Won’t Tax

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Sep 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

How Your Financial and Estate Planning Team Has Your Back

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

What Happens to Your Business When You Die

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

What Is a Separate Revocable Living Trust?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

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: What You Need to Know

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

“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.

Things to Know Before Joining a Multilevel Marketing Business

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

How Can Remarriage Affect Your Estate Planning?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

What You Need to Know about ADA Website Compliance

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Aug 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

How the Employee Onboarding Process Can Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jul 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

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!

Noncompete Agreements: How Solid Is Yours?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jun 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Can I “Rewrite” My Own Estate Planning Documents?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jun 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

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