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Advance Directives, Living Wills, and Healthcare Power of Attorney

Web Admin - Thursday, February 08, 2018
Schaumburg estate planning lawyer advance directivesProper estate planning is essential for every family, and the decisions made during this process will allow you to protect your personal property and financial assets and pass them on to your heirs after your death. But in addition to considering what will happen after you die, it is also a good idea to plan for how medical decisions will be handled for you if you ever become unable to make these decisions for yourself. The documents detailing your instructions in these matters are known as advance directives, and the two most common directives are living wills and healthcare power of attorney.

Living Wills


With a living will, you can inform a doctor or other healthcare provider that you do not want them to use medical procedures which will delay your death if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. A living will only goes into effect if you have an “incurable and irreversible condition [in which] death is imminent” and you are unable to communicate your preferences to your doctor.

Illinois law provides a standard form for living wills, but you may also create your own customized document, including specific instructions about certain situations or medical procedures you do not want your doctor to perform.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney document allows you to name someone who is authorized to make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself. You can give this person, known as your agent, broad authority to make decisions, or you can include specific instructions about what types of decisions they can make, what treatments you do and do not want to receive, whether you would like to donate your organs after your death, and how your remains should be disposed of.

Healthcare power of attorney will go into effect as soon as the document is signed, and your agent will continue to have authority to make decisions until your death, unless you include a time limit. If you have both a living will and healthcare power of attorney, decisions about death-delaying treatments will be made by your agent, unless they are unavailable, in which case your doctors will follow the instructions in your living will.

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Lawyer


In addition to healthcare power of attorney and a living will, you may want to consider other advance directives: a mental health treatment preference declaration which will describe what treatments for mental illness you want to receive if you cannot make decisions for yourself, or a do not resuscitate (DNR) order which states that you do not want to be revived if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.

If you want to know more about how to create the advance directives that will ensure your wishes are carried out correctly if you are incapacitated, the skilled attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can answer your questions and work with you to create the documents you need. Contact our Barrington estate planning attorneys at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.



Sources:
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes/advance-directives
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2110&ChapterID=60

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affects Estate Tax

Web Admin - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Barrington estate planning lawyer estate taxThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 represents the largest reform to the United States tax code in the past 30 years, and its changes will be felt in nearly every aspect of people’s lives for many years to come. While tax attorneys and financial advisors are still working to determine how this bill will affect individuals and businesses, one area in which the act’s changes are clear is that of estate tax. For people with significant assets, it is important to understand how these changes will affect their estate plan.

Estate Tax Exemptions

The federal estate tax applies to the assets which are transferred to someone’s heirs after their death. However, everyone is entitled to an exemption, and only the value of the estate above this exemption is subject to estate taxes. Prior to the passage of the tax reform bill, this exemption was $5 million, plus an inflation adjustment which varied from year to year (for 2018, the inflation adjustment was $600,000, allowing an estate to claim a total exemption of $5.6 million). 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the amount of the exemption, meaning that for an individual who dies in 2018, their estate can claim an exemption of $11.2 million. In addition, spouses are able to use a portability election to claim any unused portion of their spouse’s exemption. This means that married couples will effectively have a $22.4 million estate tax exemption.

Notably, this increased estate tax exemption is scheduled to sunset in 2025. People with significant assets can take advantage of this exemption before it ends and minimize their potential estate taxes by transferring their assets to their heirs prior to their death. As of 2018, gifts of up to $15,000 from an individual or $30,000 from a married couple can be given to individuals each year without being subject to federal gift taxes. A person’s lifetime estate tax exemption of $11.2 million can be applied to gifts above this threshold. 

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Attorney

The increased estate tax exemption is just one small aspect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and there are a wide variety of other provisions that will affect people’s finances and their plans for distributing their assets to their heirs after their death. If you have any questions about how the tax reform bill will affect your estate plan, the skilled attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand the changes to the law and the steps you should take to provide for your family’s financial security after you are gone. Contact our Inverness estate planning lawyers today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.


About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.



Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2017/12/21/final-tax-bill-includes-huge-estate-tax-win-for-the-rich-the-22-4-million-exemption/#7325a3cc1d54
https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/10/29/the-2018-estate-tax-and-why-it-may-not-matter.aspx

Why You Need an Estate Plan Even If You Do Not Have Children

Web Admin - Thursday, January 11, 2018
Palatine estate planning lawyerFinancial advisors and attorneys often tell their clients that estate planning is an essential part of anyone’s financial plan, ensuring that their assets are correctly distributed to their heirs after their death. But how does this apply to people who do not have any children? If you are not concerned with providing for your descendants after you are gone, you may not feel that an estate plan is necessary. However, it is still important to have a plan in place that will protect your assets both before and after your death.

Creating a Will

When someone dies intestate (without a last will and testament in place), their assets will be distributed according to Illinois’ intestate succession laws. If someone has no descendants, their entire estate will go to their spouse. If they do not have a spouse, the estate will be divided among their parents and siblings, or among their closest surviving relatives. If no relatives can be located, the estate will go to the State of Illinois.

Even if you do not have children, you will likely want to have some say in who will inherit your property after you die. Creating a valid last will and testament will ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, whether you plan to leave them to your spouse, family members, friends, or charitable organizations.

Another benefit of a will is that it names an executor who will handle the distribution of your property to your heirs. Without a will in place, a probate court will appoint an administrator of your estate, and extensive court proceedings may be necessary to resolve any disputes over the distribution of your assets. Creating a will that clarifies your intentions and names a person you trust to oversee your estate will ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly.

Holding Assets in a Living Trust

Another benefit that estate planning can provide is ensuring that you will have the financial resources you need as you near the end of your life. A living trust is a good way to protect your assets, giving you control over them while also specifying who will handle them and how they should be used to care for you if you should ever become incapacitated or disabled, as well as how they should be distributed after your death.

One of the key benefits of a trust is that it simplifies the distribution of property after your death, since assets held in a trust are not subject to probate. In addition, while the contents of a will are part of the public record, a trust is confidential, providing privacy to both you and your heirs.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Estate Planning Attorney

If you want to know more about the benefits that estate planning can provide to you and your loved ones, the attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand the benefits of a will or trust and work with you to draft the documents that give you and your family the financial security you need. Contact our Palatine estate planning lawyers today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.


About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.



Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000
https://www.aarp.org/money/estate-planning/info-09-2010/ten_things_you_should_know_about_living_trusts.html

Are Holiday Gifts Subject to Federal Gift Tax?

Web Admin - Thursday, December 21, 2017
Barrington estate planning and tax lawyerThe holiday season is a time of giving, but as you celebrate this time with your family and friends, you may need to be aware of a certain omnipresent aspect of American life: taxes. While it will likely only apply to people who earn a high income or have large financial assets, it is still a good idea to understand the Federal gift tax and the impact it may have on the gifts you give and your estate.

What Is the Gift Tax?

When a person transfers property to someone else without receiving something of equal value in return, this is considered a gift by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and it may be subject to gift taxes. The person who gives the gift to someone else (known as the donor) is responsible for filing tax forms for the gift and paying the gift tax.

Gift Tax Exclusions

Certain types of gifts are excluded from taxes, including gifts given to one’s spouse, gifts given to a political organization, and tuition or medical expenses paid on someone’s behalf. For other gifts, an annual exclusion threshold applies. That threshold is $14,000 for 2017, and the threshold for 2018 will be $15,000.

The annual exclusion applies to gifts given to an individual person, so if a donor gives multiple people gifts of less than $14,000 each, they will not owe any gift taxes. For spouses, the exclusion is doubled, so a married couple can give a gift of up to $28,000 without owing gift taxes.

In addition to the annual exclusion, everyone is entitled to a lifetime exemption known as the basic tax exemption. For people who die in 2017, that exemption is $5,490,000, and in 2018, the exemption will increase to $5,600,000. The taxable amount of gifts greater than the annual gift tax exclusion threshold can be applied toward this lifetime exemption, and taxes will not be owed on these gifts. However, any amount of the basic exemption used during one’s lifetime will be deducted from the amount of their estate that is exempt from estate taxes upon their death.

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Attorney

Determining how gift taxes will affect your finances and your estate can be a complex undertaking. If you want to make sure you are protecting yourself and providing for your family’s financial security, the skilled attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can work with you to ensure you have met your legal requirements and have the financial resources in place that your family needs. Contact our Rolling Meadows estate planning attorneys today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.



Source:
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estate-and-gift-taxes

Establishing a Sole Proprietorship in Illinois – What Every Business Owner Should Know

Web Admin - Friday, December 15, 2017
Illinois employment law attorneysStarting a business can be a massive undertaking, and it all begins with deciding how you will structure it. For those considering a sole proprietorship, an in-depth understanding of the risks and process is crucial. Learn more, including how an attorney can provide the added protection and experienced assistance that is needed, from the following information.

Is Sole Proprietorship Right for Your Business? 

Before making a final determination on whether a sole proprietorship may be appropriate for your start-up company, consider all the elements of this business structure carefully. For example, one must understand that sole proprietorships are for businesses with only one owner. Partnerships and corporations must register their businesses in other ways. Second, know that there are more liability risks for sole proprietorships. If your business is in a high-risk industry, a sole proprietorship may not be the most appropriate business structure. Alternatively, if your business is at a low risk of experiencing a lawsuit, a sole proprietorship could offer you numerous benefits. 

First, sole proprietorships do not have to legally register as a business with the federal government, and that can save you a substantial amount in the startup of your business. Depending on your situation, the pass-through taxation of sole proprietorships may also serve as a benefit for your budding business. However, this is not always the case. Advice from an experienced attorney and a CPA is highly recommended for those considering this structure for their business. 

A Closer Look at the Risks of Sole Proprietorship

Starting a business is almost always risky, but those starting a sole proprietorship hold all the liability if their company goes under. That means you – the owner – would be liable for any debts that the company incurred. You would also be liable if an employee was injured on the job, or if they filed a legal complaint against your company. Thankfully, it is possible to take preventative action against many of these risks, as well as many others. 

Contact Our Crystal Lake Business Law Attorneys 

Whether you need assistance with deciding which business structure may be most appropriate for your company or want an in-depth analysis of the possible risks your business could face in the future, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Committed to your best interests, our experienced Crystal Lake business law attorneys take a preventative approach to protecting your company’s financial future. Schedule a personalized consultation to get started. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.



Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/BeginHere/Pages/StepByStepGuide.aspx



Mass Shootings and a Victim’s Right to Pursue Compensation

Web Admin - Monday, December 04, 2017

Illinois personal injury lawyersAlthough the United States is home to just 5 percent of the world’s entire population, it is the location of 31 percent of all mass shootings. In fact, statistics indicate that at least one event occurs each month. Depending on the details of the situation, victims and surviving families may be owed compensation after a mass shooting. Learn more, and discover how an experienced attorney can assist with help from the following information. 


A Closer Look at Mass Shootings


Mass shootings can occur in any space, including private homes, but the majority (an estimated 73 percent) happen at business establishments. Schools, including colleges, come in a close second. When staff or management of these places act negligently, perhaps by not properly training their employees to handle a mass shooting or by not ensuring the fire exits are free and clear to ensure that their patrons have a safe and clear way to escape, they may be held liable.Sadly, when victims attempt to pursue compensation on their own, they are at a massive disadvantage – and not just because they are trying to cope with the grief of a loss or the upending of their life after an injury. Businesses often have teams of lawyers to represent them, and most schools are agents of the federal government, which dramatically complicates the process for pursuing compensation. Thankfully, victims do not have to face the process alone. 


How an Attorney Can Help You Pursue Compensation


Victims may not be required to have an attorney while pursuing compensation after a mass shooting, but the aid of one is highly encouraged. Able to protect your rights and best interests in a mass shooting lawsuit, an attorney can negotiate a fairer settlement for you and your loved ones while also increasing your odds of a positive outcome. Another major benefit for victims who hire an attorney is that they can handle all the legal aspects of the case. This can give the family more time to heal and grieve the losses and injuries they have experienced. 


Contact Our Rolling Meadows Personal Injury Lawyers


If you or someone you love has been a victim of a mass shooting, do not delay. Contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers personal injury lawyers can examine your case, explain your options, and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.



Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Sources:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lasvegas-shooting-lawsuit/hundreds-of-las-vegas-shooting-victims-file-lawsuits-in-california-court-idUSKBN1DK2OX

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/health/mass-shootings-in-america-in-charts-and-graphs-trnd/index.html

What is Loss of Consortium in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Web Admin - Friday, November 24, 2017
Illinois medical malpractice lawyersMedical malpractice cases often contain several different types of compensation. Reimbursement for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages are some of the most commonly seen, but there are other, lesser-known types as well. Loss of consortium, a form of compensation that may be sought by a spouse or family member of a medical malpractice victim, is just one example. Learn more about the loss of consortium, including what it is and how you can determine if it may be an element in your family’s medical malpractice case. 

Defining Loss of Consortium 

At its core, loss of consortium pertains to the emotional, financial, and physical losses that spouses and/or family members experience after a medical malpractice injury. It encompasses both death and injury that may leave the victim without the sexual intimacy, emotional or financial support, or companionship that they had previously experienced, and might have otherwise continued to experience, had it not been for the negligence of the physician. 

Potential Complications in Loss of Consortium Cases 

Successfully navigating any medical malpractice case can be difficult, but those involving a loss of consortium can be especially complex. Much of this is due to the ambiguity of such claims (i.e. how do you place a dollar amount on the loss of intimacy or companionship?), but the burden of proof that victims must bear is a major contributing factor as well. Thankfully, victims and their families can ease the claim process and potentially increase their chances of a positive outcome in their case by seeking guidance and assistance from an experienced attorney. 

Are You Owed Compensation for Loss of Consortium? 

Determining if you may be eligible for compensation for a loss of consortium may seem like an easy task, but the families of victims often overlook the ways that an injury or death is and will impact their lives. For example, one may ask for compensation for their financial losses but fail to consider how the loss of companionship is impacting them in their day-to-day life. An attorney can help with this by asking a few simple but important questions. Should you be owed compensation for loss of consortium, they can represent you and your best interests. 

Contact Our Buffalo Grove Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

If you believe that you or your family has experienced a loss of consortium after a medical injury, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers can examine your case, inform you of your options, and assist you throughout the entire claims process. No matter what the situation, we will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your personalized consultation with us to get started. Call 847-934-6000.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

http://www.news18.com/news/india/sc-brings-down-damages-in-road-accident-deaths-says-new-sums-more-reasonable-1565607.html




Deadly Car Crashes on the Rise, Data Says

Web Admin - Friday, November 03, 2017
Illinois auto accident lawyersWhile car crashes can often lead to injuries and property damage, victims typically do survive. However, statistics now suggest that auto accident deaths are on the rise. Worse yet, the rate of accident fatality has reached a nine-year high. If someone you love has been killed in a crash, the following information can help you understand what rights you may have, including the right to pursue full and fair compensation. You shall also learn how an experienced attorney can help.  

Deadly Crashes Hit a Nine-Year High 

Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that auto accident deaths rose by 5.6 percent over the past year. With 37,461 people killed during 2106, that places traffic fatalities at a nine-year high (in 2007, there were 41,259 killed). NHTSA says there are many contributing factors, including distracted driving, which has been a continuous problem over the last several years. However, it appears that pedestrian deaths, which rose by 9 percent, and drunk driving deaths, which rose by 1.7 percent, were also confounding factors. 

Understanding Your Rights 

If someone you loved was killed in an automobile crash, pedestrian accident, drunk driving crash, or some other type of traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Sadly, the claims process to obtain that compensation is riddled with obstacles. When you are trying to recover from the loss of a family member, that is the last thing you need. To make matters even worse, insurance companies often delay or reduce payouts to try and get victims to settle for less. Some will even attempt to shift as much of the blame as possible over to the victim. If successful enough in doing this, they may even be able to outright deny a valid claim, leaving the family of the victim responsible for any final costs and expenses. Do not let this happen to you! Instead, employ the assistance of an experienced attorney. 

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Wrongful Death Lawyers 

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we aggressively protect the rights of victims, including their right to pursue full and fair compensation for any losses they may have experienced. Committed to your best interest, our Rolling Meadows wrongful death lawyers will stand by your side, every step of the way, and pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Get started by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 847-934-6000 today. 


Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/10/06/nhtsa-2016-deadly-crashes/739842001/


Worker’s Rights and Protections – Are You Entitled to a Meal Break?

Web Admin - Saturday, October 21, 2017

Illinois employee rights attorneyEmployers may know the laws that pertain to their business and the rights that their employees possess, but they are not always willing to reveal such information. For example, an employer might not explain to you that you may be entitled to time off work under the Family Medical Leave Act if your child, spouse, or parent becomes ill. Some may even know you are dealing with an illness in the family and refuse to tell you because it would hurt their bottom line. 

Rest breaks – particularly lunch breaks – are another area where employers are sometimes less than straightforward. They may imply that you are not entitled to one, or they may avoid your questions if you ask. Some will even go so far as to terminate an employee that asserts their rights, but they will usually try to find another reason to list in their files because they know it could land them in legal trouble. Learn more about your rights to rest breaks, and discover what an experienced attorney can do for you in your wrongful termination or unpaid wages case. 

Employee Meal Breaks in Illinois 

While there are several federal labor laws that protect employees from discrimination and harassment, those pertaining to meal breaks fall under each state’s jurisdiction. As such, an employee’s right to a meal break is governed by Illinois state law, which states that employees are entitled to a meal break after they work 7 ½ hours in a day. The break may be unpaid, but it must last at least 20 minutes. The employee cannot be required to perform work duties while on their break, and they cannot force an employee to stay on premises unless certain criteria apply. 

When Employers Fail to Provide Breaks 

Employers who violate state law by not providing meal breaks to eligible employees may be held liable for their actions by the state or through litigation. The latter typically stem from cases brought against the employer by former employees, who may be seeking lost wages or other damages. Employees may be eligible for additional compensation if they were wrongfully terminated for trying to assert their right to a rest period. 

Unfortunately, the legal process for pursuing damages is both complex and arduous. Employees are also at a distinct disadvantage in employment litigation matters. Much of this is due to the employer’s access to resources, including that of a legal professional to protect their business. Employees are encouraged to seek experienced legal assistance with their wrongful termination or rights violation case. 

Contact Our Schaumburg Employee Rights Attorney 

If you or someone you love has experienced a loss because of a violation of meal or rest periods, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Schaumburg employee rights attorneys can aggressively represent your case. No matter what the situation, we will pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Get started by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 847-934-6000 today. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source: https://www.illinois.gov/idol/FAQs/Pages/meals-breaks-faq.aspx

Modern Family Estate Planning – Why Use a Living Trust?

Web Admin - Friday, October 20, 2017

Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneyToday’s family looks much different than those from just 50 years ago. People no longer feel obligated to stay in a marriage that is not working, divorcees sometimes remarry, partners opt for cohabitation over remarriage, and there may be children from one marriage or both. While, in many ways, blended families are a positive thing – especially for kids – it does make estate planning much more complicated than it once was. A living trust can mitigate against many of these issues. Learn how with help from the following.


Potential Blended Family Pitfalls

People can cause some serious problems by either not having an estate plan or creating an ineffective one. The chief issue is that heirs could experience unnecessary financial difficulty while trying to muddle through the expensive and arduous probate process. Several other pitfalls must be addressed as well, however, especially in blended family estate planning. Consider some of the following possible examples:

- A father intended to leave everything to his children, but he failed to check his beneficiaries and update his estate plan. His home and other assets ended up going to his former wife. 

- A step-child expected to receive an inheritance, but the estate plan was unclear and state law does not provide for step-children. They receive nothing;

- A child inherits their father’s antique rifle, but it was promised to another child from a previous marriage;

- A husband dies and leaves his assets to his wife. When she passes away, she leaves everything to her children from a previous marriage. His children inherit nothing.

A Living Trust Can Mitigate the Risks

While it may be impossible to remove all risk of heirs fighting over an inheritance, there are several strategies that guarantors can use to mitigate against the possible damage of probate, tax consequences, family squabbles, debtors, and other common issues. The most effective tool is the living trust (revocable, irrevocable, marital, etc.). Each type works a little differently, but the primary goal is to ensure that the right person receives the right assets. Set up properly, a trust can also mitigate against spendthrift issues, ensure that even extended branches of family receive assets, and can even be specifically designated for certain expenses or needs (such as with college students, special needs children, or an ex-spouse who happens to be the other parent of your minor child). 

Why Plan Now?

No one wants to think about their death or the death of their spouse, and many dream of the death of their ex-spouse - which is why it can be easy to put off planning for it until you start to age. Sadly, not planning now can have severe consequences if an accident or incapacitation occurs to you, your spouse, or your ex-spouse. Avoid the consequences of ineffective and non-existent estate plans by contacting an experienced wills and trusts lawyer today.

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we work in your family’s best interests. Dedicated and experienced, our Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys wills and trusts attorneys can handle even the most complex of situations with skill. Call 847-934-6000 and schedule your personalized consultation today.


About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.



Sources:
https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/blended-familieshttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/your-money/estate-planning-early.html


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