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Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Special Circumstances in Estate Planning

Can I control my estate after I die?

You can’t take it with you, they say. But can those who are reluctant to freely give it away control their estates from the grave?

Advanced estate planning attorneys have an arsenal of estate planning tools to help people accomplish any legally-acceptable estate planning vision.

But why would people not want to just freely give their assets away? What concerns would lead them to exert continued control over their assets, beneficiaries, and/or the distribution schedule?

These are just some factors that may cause people to hold back or are red flags to an anticipated estate administration:

  • One or more difficult adult children that could contest the will and deplete the estate’s assets by doing so
  • Financially irresponsible children that could blow their whole inheritance due to their spendthrift ways
  • Special needs children may require special needs trusts to insure they do not jeopardize receipt of government disability benefits and to provide a lifetime of care.

State laws differ but some ways to minimize the power of a troublemaker child to disrupt your plans include:

  • hiring a professional fiduciary to manage the estate
  • including a no-contest clause in the will that cuts the troublemaker out if they dispute the will or trust
  • avoiding probate by transferring as many assets as possible through a trust. Trust assets pass to beneficiaries outside of the probate court process and are not a matter of public record, so avoiding probating a will minimizes the troublemaker’s opportunities to contest your estate plan
  • reducing the troublemaker’s ability to influence decisions or control the estate’s administration
  • disinheriting the troublemaker completely (or providing them a nominal bequest with a no-contest clause).

If you need assistance with an initial estate plan or would like to modify an existing one, the Law Offices of Thomas J. Hansen can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in Park Ridge, Illinois, we assist clients in Park Ridge and Cook County, as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont in all matters of estate planning and administration.

Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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