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Should you directly bequeath assets to a loved one using SSI?

If you have a disabled loved one, you may consider leaving him or her a considerable inheritance as part of your estate plan. After all, most people find it a great benefit to obtain a sudden, and possibly unexpected, influx of money. You may also believe that naming a special-needs individual as a beneficiary could help him or her carry on receiving needed care.

Specific details may prove useful in your living will

If you feel that the time has come to fully address your estate planning needs, among your priorities may be to understand planning tools that may also prove useful while you remain alive. Many people think that estate plans address only after-life desires, but certain documents could help individuals detail how they would like certain affairs handled in the event that they cannot do so for themselves.

Are you aware of mistakes that could impact your beneficiaries?

Estate plans can serve many purposes. When it comes to using this plan before your death, you can detail how you would like your medical treatments handled in the event that you cannot express your wishes yourself, and you can appoint individuals to handle decisions relating to your health care and your financial necessities during such a time. Your plan can also be useful after your death as you detail how you would like your property distributed, who should act as guardian of your minor children and other similar decisions.

Not having a plan may be the biggest estate planning mistake

At this point in your life, you may find yourself going back and forth between deciding whether it is time to create an estate plan or if you even need one at all. This debate is one that many Illinois residents certainly have, and a misunderstanding of the benefits of estate planning may add to the hesitation of creating a plan of your own. If you think that estate plans are only for people with a substantial amount of money, you do not have the right information.

Do you think an estate plan is unnecessary?

Though you may want to avoid thinking about your life eventually coming to an end, it happens to everyone. The manner in which it happens varies from person to person, and for some people it occurs unexpectedly while others may learn that they do not have much time left. Because either of these scenarios could happen to you, you may want to consider how you would like to leave your affairs.

What happens if you forget to add assets to your trust?

Because of the variety of estate planning options available to you, you may want to take your time when it comes to deciding which tools to utilize. Your estate plan will play an important role in the closing of your estate after your passing, and you will undoubtedly want to ensure that you complete your plan in the manner you desire. Of course, certain issues could arise with your plan, and due to this potential, you may want to consider how to best safeguard your plan.

Could a Crummey trust help you avoid gift taxes?

You, like many other Illinois residents, may find taxes stressful and inconvenient. This displeasure may stem from various misunderstandings about taxation as well as the potential for you or family members to owe a considerable amount of money to the government for various reasons. If you hope to gift money or provide for loved ones after your death, you may have an interest in how taxes could come into play.

Important facts regarding powers of attorney and living wills

When you hear the word wills within the context of estate planning or elder law matters, do you automatically think of property, assets and inheritance? If so, you're likely not alone as asset distribution is commonly associated with wills. However, if you're one of many Illinois residents helping an elderly parent execute an estate plan, you'll definitely want to make sure your mother or father knows that there are different types of wills and that it's crucial to understand the differences before putting anything in writing.

3 stipulations you could add to trusts

When creating your estate plan, you may already know that you would like to leave funds behind for the benefit of your children and grandchildren. Of course, if you have a considerable amount of money to distribute, you may not feel comfortable simply stating in a will that each individual shall receive a certain amount of that money. Therefore, you may find yourself exploring trusts as a planning option.

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Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law