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Estate Planning Archives

The "Extra Help" program pays my Part D prescription plan and gives discounts. What do these notices mean?

Read the notices carefully, since you might have to respond. An ORANGE notice explains the small changes in your co-pays for next year. There are two types of BLUE notices. The first kind says that you will be reassigned since your insurance company is leaving the Medicare program. The second kind says that you will be reassigned since the insurance company's premiums are rising above the government levels. Under both of these blue notices if you want to choose your own insurance company you must act before the end of the year. If you receive a GREY notice, you should take action before the end of the year. This notice means that the government believes your income or assets have increased or your premium is increasing too much; it may be necessary to file an appeal or choose a new insurance company. SHIP counselors can help you at (800) 252-8966 or email AGING.SHIP@illinois.gov

What happens if you die? The importance of wills

Talking about the possibility of dying is not exactly an enjoyable event, which is why creating a will is often placed on the back burner when it comes to tackling responsibilities. However, wills are powerful legal documents that clearly indicate what you desire to happen to all of you assets in Illinois after you die. These assets include both your property and your money.

Could your loved one benefit from a special needs trust?

Many individuals have loved ones in their lives that may need extra care due to a disability or mental challenges. As one of these individuals, you undoubtedly want to ensure that your loved one has the financial ability to receive necessary care as well as meet daily life needs, especially in the event of your death. However, you may also understand that gifting money could cause complications with government benefits.

Estate Planning is a Process, Not a Binder of Forms

There really is no question that it is important for almost every adult to have a will, and to consider signing both financial and health care powers of attorney. That is what we mean by "estate planning," and it is important to go through the process of preparing those documents.

A Will vs. a Living Trust

You've worked long and hard for the day when you would retire. You have avoided risky stocks and generally been conscientious about saving money. The good news is that you have saved enough to live comfortably and are at the point where it's time to figure out how you want to structure your estate planning.

The presidential election and estate taxes: Impact of each candidate

The estate tax is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Although this marks a momentous occasion for the tax, this year also marks a big year for politics. This piece discusses how the current presidential race could impact the estate tax on its centennial.

Five estate planning considerations for your second marriage

A second marriage brings a lot of change with it. You may end up living in a different home or change employment. Because of all these transitions, there is the tendency to put off some important tasks for a later time. One area of life that is often neglected but no less vital is the need to modify your beneficiary designations and will. If you are about to embark on a second marriage, here are five important considerations in relation to your estate planning.

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Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law