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Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: How They Differ

April 27th, 2016

Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is, as Martha Stewart would say, a “good thing.” However, many of us don’t take the steps to get that estate plan in place because we don’t understand the nuances between wills and trusts – and dying without either.

Here’s what will generally happen if you die, intestate (without a will or trust), with a will, and with a trust. For this example, we’re assuming you have children, but …

Failure to Recognize Unborn Children in Wills – Celebrity Stories

April 17th, 2016

Having an estate plan that protects and provides for your loved ones is not only smart, it’s necessary. Without one, your family, friends, or the charitable organizations you wish to provide for may not receive your gifts.

It’s also important to remember to update your estate planning documents whenever something changes which would affect your intentions.  Two examples of celebrities failure to recognize unborn children in their wills.

Michael Crichton

  • Crichton was a best-selling author, physician, producer, director, and screenwriter.

Wills Vs. Trusts:  Take Control of Your Wealth Distribution!

January 3rd, 2016

You work hard for your money and want to ensure that your wealth distribution goes according to your wishes upon death. Sadly, many people simply don’t understand the difference between wills and trusts and how they can affect inheritance. Don’t be one of them!  Take control of your wealth distribution by understanding what wills don’t control and the benefits of a trust.  Wills vs. Trusts, you need to know the difference.

5 Things a Will Does Not Control

Most people …

Don’t Miss Out on These Year-End Tax Planning Strategies

November 8th, 2015

tax planning strategies

It is not too late to review year-end tax planning strategies.  Below you will find a variety of tax-saving strategies you should consider using immediately so that you can get your 2015 tax house in order well in advance of the fast-approaching holiday season.

Plan Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest

The last thing you want to worry about during the holiday season is tax planning.  Now is the perfect time to discuss the following tax-saving opportunities …

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

July 4th, 2015

Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions.  Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it’s needed.

Estate Planning Myth #1 – You Don’t Need an Estate Plan Because Your Spouse Will Inherit Everything

A common belief is that if you’re married and you don’t have a will or a trust, your spouse will …

Appointing A Trustee: 5 Things to Consider

March 23rd, 2015

Who would have thought that Appointing a Trustee would be a “new mommy” conversation, not me! Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with old friends from college for a baby shower. While talking about Etsy and Pinterest, somehow, my work as an estate planning attorney became a hot topic. I found myself talking at length with a dear friend who is in the middle of a legal dispute over a family member’s actions as a Trustee.…

Power of Attorney Could Have Granted Nick Gordon Visitation With Bobbi Kristina Brown

March 11th, 2015

Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s partner, has been denied visitation rights by Brown’s father, rights Gordon would have as a matter of law if he and Brown were married. A quick review of Bobbi Kristina’s social media profiles reveals that she considered Nick to be her “husband.” However, because the two are not legally married, Nick has no legal right to visit his longtime partner. With a basic estate plan, Gordon and Brown could have the same rights as a …

Avoiding a Will Contest or Trust Contest

February 1st, 2015

Avoiding a will contest or trust contest is a consideration as it can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can help your family avoid a potentially disastrous will contest or trust contest.

If you are concerned about challenges to your estate plan, consider the following:

1. Do not attempt “do it yourself” solutions. If you are concerned about an heir contesting your estate plan, the last thing …

The Pitfalls of being a Chicago Landlord

October 21st, 2014

The Pitfalls of being a Chicago Landlord

While many Chicago landlords are readily able to price their units competitively, most landlords are unaware of the strict requirements set forth in the Chicago RLTO (Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance). Unless you are one of the few Chicago landlords who are expressly exempt from the RLTO; being unaware of the law is no defense and failure to abide by the RLTO’s strict requirements can result in hefty penalties. And those penalties are not …

Beware – You May Accidentally Disinherit A Child

September 17th, 2014

Owning property as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship is easy, common, and often disastrous. Sadly, children – both minor and adult – are often disinherited.   While there are several forms of joint ownership, the one most people use (and the one considered in this discussion) is called “Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship.” When one owner dies, the jointly owned asset automatically, by operation of law, transfers to the surviving owner.

  • Joint ownership is a very common way for