My Assets Don’t Warrant The Cost Of An Estate Plan

This belief is so common that it almost appears factual. Although it is significantly more affordable than establishing a trust, many people are under the impression they don’t have enough assets to even warrant the cost of creating a will. Not only do people have more assets than they realize, but they also aren’t aware of the potential complications that arise from not having completed any degree of estate Read More

The Probate Process: From A To Z

If you take away one thing, it should be this: probate can be a long process. A typical or standard estate can take up to twelve months to pass through it—and an estate tied up in litigation can take multiple years. By highlighting the timeline, we are not taking the position that you should avoid probate, nor are we claiming you should seek it out.  The length of the process needs to be considered when you and your Read More

Title Insurance Can Save You

Your mortgage lender (assuming you need one) conducts a title search on the property you intend to purchase. Because the title is attached to the home, the title search is a closer look at the title's history. Is the record accurate? Has the deed ever been forged or altered? Does someone have a claim on the property that isn’t the seller?  Imagine your lender conducts the search and finds that the title is clean. Read More

Estate Planning & Anti-Lapse Statutes

Estate planning attorneys may use the term “anti-lapse statutes” when discussing how assets get passed down to beneficiaries. If you were inclined to do so, you could read about them directly in the Illinois Anti-Lapse Statute of the Probate Act (Section 4-11). Be warned, however, because when reading it, you will not see the words “anti-lapse.” But you will come across phrases such as “...take per stirpes the estate Read More

A Unique Element Of Illinois Real Estate Deals

Property taxes are paid in arrears. You aren't alone if you don’t know what that term means. “Arrears” pertains to money that should have been paid earlier. It applies to real estate purchases because property taxes made during this year are actually for the previous year.  For homeowners, this is a minor issue. Illinois sends out two property tax bills each year. When you get one, you pay it. Simple. You may not Read More

Residual Beneficiaries, Remote Contingencies, & Why You Need Them

Don’t make the mistake of skipping over these terms because you are under the impression that you don’t need an estate plan. If you are an adult with assets (or a family), you should strongly consider meeting with an estate planning attorney.  In addition to asset protection, one of the benefits of estate planning is distributing your assets to people of your choice. Without a plan in place, your estate will pass Read More

The Importance Of A Waiver Of Bonds

If you have never been (or dealt with) an executor of an estate, you may have never heard of a surety bond. Or have heard the term in passing and want to understand what it is and how it pertains to you. More importantly, you should have a solid grasp as to how they protect you. If you were to pass away without having done any estate planning or even drafted a will, then you are said to have died intestate. In other Read More

Generation-Skipping Trust

A generation-skipping trust is commonly abbreviated as GST, and it is precisely what it sounds like. The person who places or funds the trust with their asset is known as the grantor. The grantor establishes a GST with the intention that everything gets passed down while skipping a generation. Think of a grandparent who wishes to give specific assets to their grandchildren. The beneficiaries are not members of the Read More

Can A Business Get Probated?

When someone passes away without a will, everything they own must pass through probate. One of the reasons people draft wills or create trusts is to add a level of control. Without an estate plan, the state’s rules and laws governing intestate succession apply. In other words, the laws of the state determine where your assets go. This can lead to an entire host of problems. For instance, if you are a business owner Read More

Reasons To Build A Business Succession Plan

People who have spent their lives developing and growing a business want to see it live on. Choosing who will run your business when you step down is critical. And the implementation thereof may require time to think, decide, and transition.  As an entrepreneur or business owner, you should accept that you need to groom your replacement. The success rate of a business drops significantly the more generations it Read More