Lake in the Hills Estate Planning Attorneys Who Care
Why O'Flaherty Law for your Estate Plan?
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Please contact our friendly Lake in the Hills estate planning attorneys today to schedule a free consultation:
We are happy to meet with you at our Lake in the Hills office, our other convenient locations in Downers Grove, Naperville, or Elmhurst.
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Why Should I Have An Estate Plan?
Every estate planning case is unique. That's why our Lake in the Hills attorneys take their time to fully understand your goals. Only after an understanding is achieved, can we begin with a strategy that encompasses your needs. We don't just supply you with the documents. We take the time to explain the documents and how they work to accomplish your needs for your family.
There are many benefits that an estate plan can provide to your family. Here are just some listed below:
- Probate Becomes Unnecessary : Probate is the court's way of distributing your assets when you pass. This can cost from 5% to 10% of the value of the estate in attorney fees. On top of the attorney fees, there will be court costs as well. Not only can it be expensive, but it can be a lengthy process that won't allow your loved ones to have access to your assets for at least a year. The last thing that your family needs in the grieving period is this stressful distraction. Probate is required if you do not have a proper estate plan when you pass. This estate plan ensures that your wishes are fulfilled and your assets are distributed immediately and without the costs of the probate process.
- The Right Way to Distribute Assets: Your wishes may be complex, but our Lake in the Hills estate planning lawyers make sure that it is executed correctly. We make sure your assets are to be distributed through a loved one or fiduciary you trust rather than the probate court that does not hold your interests. Even years after you pass, with the right estate plan you may be able to control your asset distribution. For example, if there arises a case where a young adult may need a delayed inheritance, your estate plan may make sure the young adult does not see a dime of it until they are old enough to handle the responsibility. Instead, these assets can be released by your trustee over time as the child ages. If you have a minor child with an ex-spouse, you can make sure your ex-spouse does not receive your assets because she is the guardian of your child. Instead, the assets can be managed by someone you appoint.
- Naming a Guardian for Minor Children: Young families have the important task of naming the right person to their raise their children if they become unable to do so. This decision is too important to leave up to chance through probate. Your wishes are essential when it comes to the protection of your children.
- Avoiding a Guardianship Proceeding Should You Become Mentally Incompetent: Though accident, disease, or old age, you may be rendered mentally incompetent. A guardianship proceeding would follow such event which would allow your loved ones to manage your personal and financial affairs. These proceedings can be costly and require attorney fees and court courts that may put an unnecessary burden on your family. These proceedings are not only costly, but they can be lengthy as well. Guardianship proceedings take approximately six months. Your family remains in limbo while you wait for this proceeding and cannot act on your behalf. Establishing a solid financial and healthcare power of attorney means you can appoint your guardian in advance. This in turn lowers the costs, saves your family the stress, and cuts out the waiting period involved.
- End of Life Instruction: When it comes to estate planning, the theme is saving your family from the emotional burden that is placed on them during a time where you become unable to make important decisions. Our Lake in the Hills attorneys will alleviate this stress by creating a great estate plan that outlines your wishes ahead of time. This process helps get rid of the guilt that can occur and disputes that may arise when a family is left to make these choices without guidance.
Is A Trust Appropriate For Me?
While most people have a preconceived notion that Revocable Living Trusts may only benefit and be required for the wealthy, the fact remains that Revocable Living Trusts suit most families. A Revocable Living Trust may be for you if:
Lake in the Hills attorney, Kevin O'Flaherty, discusses the 8 goals of a good estate plan.
We have the experience with many special circumstances that could arise that only an expert estate planning attorney can properly execute. Some of our competitor estate planning lawyers may not have the ability to accomplish your goals, but we are able to. Here are some examples of some special estate plans we have experience with:
- Estate Tax Avoidance: We understand how how you work to build and maintain wealth for your family and loved ones. When you pass, your loved ones are the ones who should reap the benefits of your tireless work, not the government. If your estate plan isn't made correctly, state and federal tax could end up consuming at least 35% of your assets. We will help you create a strategy that will completely avoid this estate tax We work with you to look at every opportunity available under the law to minimize your estate tax exposure and make sure that your loved ones receive the fruits of your labor.
- Protection of Assets from Creditors: If you are in a job field with high liability, our Lake in the Hills estate planning attorneys offer irrevocable trusts, family limited partnerships, and life estate deeds to make sure creditors cannot go after your assets. In the event of a lawsuit, we can ensure that your home and wealth stay protected and inside your family.
- Medicaid & Long-Term Care Planning: If you or your parent face the decision of long-term care, you have the opportunity to apply for Medicaid benefits to cover cost related to such care. What many do not know is that in order to receive these Medicaid benefits, you are first required to spend down your assets? You must show that you have less than $2,000.00 in total assets before having Medicaid eligibility. Our Lake in the Hills elder law attorneys use life estate deeds and irrevocable living trusts to make you eligble for Medicaid benefits while also keeping your assets inside of your family and retaining the right of possession of your home. We also have the ability to assist you in protecting assets from collection by the government to satisfy the bills of long-term care after you pass. Medicaid planning beings at least five years after you apply for Medicaid to maximize your options.
- Special Needs Planning: There are limits on how much income you can receive and total assets you can accrue without negatively affecting the benefits of Medicaid or social security. If you or your child are disabled, there may arise a problem. However, our Lake in the Hills special needs attorneys can make it so that you earn an income, accumulate savings, receive gifts and inheritances, and maintain a decent standard of living without losing eligibility for government benefits. If you are the parent of a special needs child, your child's supplemental needs trust should be made into your own estate in order to ensure that any inheritance they will receive will not affect their eligibility for government assistance.
Read more from our Lake in the Hills estate planning attorneys regarding the 8 goals of a good estate plan.