Discover 2 ways the law can nullify your estate plan—after you die

Discover 2 ways the law can nullify your estate plan—after you die In America, there is no right to inherit. You can leave your wealth to whomever you want—even if you exclude your immediate family. However, when it comes to your spouse the law does render ineffective certain instructions that exclude her. It is important […]

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Greg’s Estate Takes: Special Tax Alert

Certain deductions will be limited or abolished in 2018 under the new Federal tax law. So it may be to your advantage to pre-pay your real estate taxes this year so you can claim the payment as a deduction on your 2017 income tax return. Under the new rule, ocean property would have to be classified […]

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What happens to the decedent’s debts?

I am often asked, what about the debts of the decedent? Does death wipe the slate clean? After all, the heirs are not the debtor. The debts of the decedent are enforceable against the estate, if there is a probate. If the decedent died with a trust the debts are also enforceable against the trust. […]

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Selling property from a trust

People are often apprehensive about putting their home or other property in a trust. It is a mystery to them. They ask, “Since the property is no longer in my name, how do I sell it? What happens to the money paid by the buyer? Who is the money paid to?” The answer is simpler […]

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DEATH IS FULL OF SURPRISES

But it shouldn’t be. Even a well-planned estate can collapse into confusion, family acrimony, and litigation if a few simple rules are followed. These are thing you can do now to make sure your estate plan will work out as you intended. Give them the heads-up. Most people, during their lives, don’t want to disclose […]

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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When a Loved One Dies

Regardless of whether or not you are the estate representative, it is prudent to avoid these mistakes for your peace of mind. Failure to protect estate property: Personal property: Don’t just lock the doors. Change the locks and video each room. Don’t wait until after the funeral. Family feuds often erupt over missing items of […]

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Is a living trust the only way to avoid probate?

No. There are numerous ways to do so. For example you can name a beneficiary of your life insurance policy, retirement plan, or annuity. In fact, in Illinois, you can name a beneficiary of practically anything. You can name a beneficiary of your car (go to http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/motorist/titlereg.html and click on “Beneficiary Affidavit”), your home (Transfer […]

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Why you should never put your assets in joint tenancy

The appeal of joint tenancy with right of survivorship is that when you die, the surviving joint tenant will automatically inherit the house or bank account, thus avoiding probate. You figure that your kids are on title only so they will inherit easily when you die—but the law takes a different view. Your joint tenant’s […]

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Do Living Trusts protect your assets from your creditors?

The short answer is “No.” If you get sued and a judgment is entered against you the creditor can reach the assets in your living trust just as easily as if the assets were in your name only. However, it is important to note a few points: Your living trust can form the foundation for […]

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