Estate Planning is important for everybody. An estate plan is essential if you want your legacy protected for your loved ones after you pass.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys located in St Charles, Illinois can address your unique needs for asset protection, business succession planning, and families of children with special needs.
The Importance of Estate Planning.
Proper asset protection planning in Illinois allows you to leave a legacy for your family or community. Your estate plan protects your assets from the government, potential creditors, or other lawsuits. Some lawsuit issues include divorce, bankruptcy, business failure, malpractice, and many other types of cases.
There are many legal strategies available to protect your assets for you and your loved ones. These legal methods will depend on your unique situation, goals, asset values, and family makeup. Asset protection planning is a vital step in the estate planning process.
Understanding Estate Planning.
The estate planning process begins by understanding your long-term goals for you and your loved ones. Together, our lawyers will discuss which hard-earned assets you wish to protect and preserve in your golden years of life and which you wish to pass down to family. Every Illinois estate plan is strategically designed to meet your individual planning needs. Strohschein Law Group can help you prepare the best legal documents needed to achieve your estate planning goals.
What Documents are Essential for an Estate Plan?
We will create a solid estate plan to fit your unique needs. Some essential estate planning documents usually include a Will, a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust, and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property.
Last Will and Testament.
A Will addresses your intentions after you pass away. This legal document appoints an executor of your estate, who will take care of managing the estate, paying debts on your behalf, and distributing the property as specified in the Will. The distribution of assets is addressed in the legal document, but a Will often times must go through probate court in Illinois.
A significant benefit of a Trust is that it does not go through Illinois probate court, compared to a Will. Property is still distributed at death but done without the need for an Illinois court proceeding. During your lifetime, your assets and property will move into the Trust, and the Trust owns the property and assets, which your beneficiaries will receive after death.
Durable Powers of Attorney.
Powers of Attorney are critical parts of an estate plan. The Illinois Durable Powers of Attorney can include a Healthcare Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney, which designates an individual to act as your agent for medical or financial decisions. A financial power of attorney makes decisions related to financial matters, and a healthcare power of attorney can legally make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
What is the Difference Between a Revocable Trust and an Irrevocable Trust?
There are two categories of Trusts, revocable and irrevocable. Each type of Trust is designed to solve a particular issue. Each legal document serves a particular purpose and has advantages, depending on your family circumstances.
Revocable Trusts assist in avoiding guardianship and probate court. A person can modify this type of Trust after the document is created.
Irrevocable Trusts assist in asset protection and are primarily used to avoid losing assets or a family home to Illinois nursing home costs. A person cannot modify this type of Trust without the consent of ALL participating parties at the time of the creation of the Trust and without the beneficiaries’ approval.
At Strohschein Law Group, our experienced estate planning lawyers will be able to explain in clear and straightforward terms what type of Trust will be helpful for your unique situation and your asset protection goals.
Navigate Estate Planning with an Experienced Illinois Lawyer.
Strohschein Law Group’s experienced team is here to guide you in the proper estate planning legal documents for you and your loved ones. Our experienced attorneys can help you and your loved one understand estate planning, long-term planning, care coordination, guardianship, estate administration, trust administration, and probate litigation in Chicago and surrounding collar counties in Illinois. Our estate planning law firm welcomes you to contact us and learn how our lawyers can help meet your asset protection needs with an estate plan.
Family With Young Children Set Up Their Estate Plan
Strohschein Law Group recently worked with Jim and Marie, a married couple who wanted to set up their estate plan for the benefit of their young children. They have a home with a fair amount of equity in it, some debt that they are working to pay off and the potential to inherit a significant portion of the family business. Jim and Marie were looking to protect their assets and structure their estate for the benefit of their children upon their passing.
We created a plan which included Wills and Revocable Trusts for each of them, as well as Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property and HIPAA Releases. Strohschein Law Group also recommended that this couple look into purchasing long term care policies for themselves to hedge against the eventual cost of long term care should either Jim or Marie need costly care.
Aging Adult Updates His Estate Plan
Strohschein Law Group was asked to help Bill update his estate plan in light of some dementia symptoms he was beginning to experience. We reviewed Bill’s current documents, which were approximately 10 years old, and since he still had mental capacity, we updated them as needed to reflect his current wishes. In particular, we added HIPAA language allowing Bill’s family members to talk to his physicians. Bill also asked us to coordinate a backup Trustee and Executor for him, since he no longer trusted his adult children to make financial decisions for him. Strohschein Law Group was able to locate a geriatric care manager who would stand in for him in a decision making capacity if his dementia grew worse to the point where he would be unable to make sound decisions for himself.
Bill also sought assistance in setting up a separate trust to hold a valuable vacation home that he was hoping to keep in the family for generations to come. Few of his children had the financial ability to maintain the property; therefore, Bill made a financial contribution to the newly created real estate trust so that taxes, maintenance and insurance could be paid for at least five years following his death. Bill wanted his family to continue to use the property which had many happy memories for all of them, and if the time came to sell the property, that an equal distribution would be had between the children when the proceeds became available.