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Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Thursday, March 14, 2019

What is Medicaid planning?

When most people think of a comprehensive estate plan in Illinois, they likely think of a last will and testament that names legal guardians for their minor children. They may think of trusts that can transfer their assets outside of probate, quickly and privately or that can protect loved ones with special needs providing for them in a way that does not jeopardize their government benefits. 

Most people have also heard of Read more . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2019

What is digital asset planning?

You may think you have a comprehensive estate plan in place. You saw an expert, had a last will and testament drawn up naming legal guardians for any minor children and disposing of probate property. Maybe you established a living trust as well.
Read more . . .

Monday, January 28, 2019

Working a Business Partnership Interest into Your Estate Plan

What happens to a business partnership when a partner becomes disabled or dies?

Most of the people seeking legal counsel from a skilled Park Ridge estate planning attorney are “regular” folks--singles or couples who earn their income working for others.  In such cases, an estate planning attorney has a generally-stable benchmark income figure to use when considering which common estate planning strategies like Medicaid planning, tax-related issues, and more to incorporate into the individualized estate plan.

But what happens if the person is involved in a business partnership?

The existence of the business partnership brings additional considerations to a comprehensive estate plan which extend beyond the income potential of the business and its partners. Estate planning attorneys will look to the written partnership agreement among the partners and the financial and other obligations it places on the partners in the event a partner should become incapacitated or die. Hopefully, such an agreement exists and was well-written.
Read more . . .

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Asset Protection Planning in Illinois

How can I protect my assets from creditors?

Most people understand the concept of estate planning to be creating a last will and testament—or simply a “will”-- stating how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. While that is true in the most minimal sense, comprehensive estate plans go much farther than that.

For example, planning for incapacity, rather than death, must also be considered.
Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .

Friday, October 26, 2018

How You Leave Money to Charities Might Matter

Are you making a common estate planning mistake?

There’s a common estate planning mistake that some people make which can cost their children or other beneficiaries money.

Estate planning for children can differ depending on the age of the children involved and whether the children have special needs. Very often, when planning for minor children, trusts are used.
Read more . . .

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dying Without an Estate Plan with a Special Needs Child

Q: How can parents dying without an estate plan impact a special needs child?

Estate administration can be difficult in cases where people die without a will.

Even when people have been told for 30 years by a trusted estate planning attorney all the reasons why they should have a will (and maybe even trust), and even when they expressed an understanding of the need for these legal documents, people still often never get around to it. That’s what Aretha Franklin’s family attorney reportedly said was the reason the “Queen of Soul” died without a will.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Slayer Rule in Illinois

Q: Can someone inherit from someone they intentionally kill?

Very often, the first milestone in life that sends a couple to an Illinois estate planning attorney is parenthood (even though everyone over 18 should have an initial estate plan created).

Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to Disinherit a Relative

Q: How can I leave a relative out of my estate plan?

It's common when people seek advice from a skilled estate planning attorney, that they may have close relatives in their life that they don't want to inherit anything. The late pop icon, Michael Jackson, was apparently one of those people.

Fortunately, in almost all cases, you can completely disinherit almost anyone, whether the person is part of your life or estranged --although state rules differ on the ability and extent to which you may disinherit your current spouse.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 11, 2018

Protecting Elders from Nursing Home Abuse in Illinois

Q: What can be done to protect elders from abuse?

In Illinois, a comprehensive estate plan involves much more than a simple last will and testament.

In addition to a will, people may benefit from trust documents that may help them transfer certain assets and avoid probate.

Read more . . .

Friday, May 18, 2018

Estate Planning to Protect Your Assets for Your Adult Children

Q: How can I prevent my adult child from blowing their whole inheritance?

It's advisable to visit a Park Ridge estate planning attorney once you reach the age of 18– – regardless of your financial situation – – first to create a will that disposes of your property and assets upon death. Secondly and equally importantly, supporting estate documents like powers of attorney and health care proxies can protect you in the event you become disabled or incapacitated and unable to make your own financial and/or medical decisions.

While it's uncomfortable to think about, death or disability can strike even the young at any time and once a child turns 18, their parents can longer make those healthcare decisions on their behalf without having been granted the legal authority to do so.

Read more . . .

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