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Estate planning involves outlining someone’s wishes regarding finances, property, and medical care in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated and is unable to make those decisions, or when he or she passes away. These essential and legally binding documents are often referred to as living trusts, and the person who creates it is called the “grantor.” This type of trust requires minimal maintenance during the grantor’s life. Upon the grantor’s death, however, the trust becomes irrevocable and certain legal actions must be taken to enforce it. While every trust and estate is unique depending on an individual’s situation…
Thinking about the future in case something happens to you can be a daunting task. Many people do not like to think about what will occur if they pass away. However, estate planning is essential if you want your wishes to be carried out and avoid disputes between surviving family members. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that names the person who can speak for you if you become incapacitated and incapable of making your own decisions. A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to give a certain individual the authority to…
As the state and the nation aim to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the economic losses suffered by people and businesses continue to increase. While some large businesses in specific industries like tourism, travel, and dining are struggling, small businesses are facing particularly difficult times. Unlike those bigger businesses, small businesses do not have nearly as much funding or other resources to help them stay afloat. Fortunately, the governments at both the national and the state levels have made many resources available to small businesses to help them weather the storm. If you have any questions about these programs,…
As a result of the growing threat from the coronavirus, numerous events have been canceled, postponed, or modified out of fear that this virus might continue to spread and put attendees’ health in jeopardy. Some sporting events have been canceled or postponed, such as international rugby games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and the NCAA March Madness tournament. In addition, many sporting activities have adapted with the times: some events will not allow crowds, and most professional leagues in the U.S. have restricted locker-room access. In terms of cultural events, the South by Southwest festival has been canceled. Annual St. Patrick’s…
The Illinois Trust Code (ITC) went into effect on January 1, 2020, replacing the former Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act and implementing a number of changes that affect trust makers, trustees, and beneficiaries. One notable adjustment is known as the “prudent investor rule,” and it affects a trustee’s ability to make investment decisions regarding the assets in a trust. Before any investment actions are taken by a trustee, it is important to review and understand the rights and responsibilities defined in the ITC. Understanding the Prudent Investor Rule Trustees are responsible for investing and managing the assets of a…
As the new year begins, many trust owners (grantors) and trustees are familiarizing themselves with the Illinois Trust Code. As of January 1st, 2020, Illinois has adopted a new set of governing rules over trusts that will be linked to the Uniform Trust Code (UTC). This law involves many changes and updates to the rules surrounding trusts, and one area that has been affected is the modification of exculpation clauses. Moving forward, both grantors and trustees should consult a legal professional to either create, adjust, or better understand their trusts.  What Does Exculpation of a Trustee Mean? An exculpatory clause…
A trust can provide a person with the ability to protect and manage their assets and distribute them to beneficiaries either before or after their death. When a person creates a trust, they will name a trustee who will be responsible for controlling and managing the property or assets held in the trust. These appointed agents are legally required by the Illinois Trust Code (ITC) to fulfill the duties authorized to them, such as distributing possessions or managing an estate. If disputes arise between a trust’s beneficiaries, a trustee, or any other interested persons, the parties may enter into a…
Before a motorist or passenger gets into a vehicle, the possibility of a car accident must be taken into consideration. Victims of a fender bender may need to deal with pain and suffering, financial repercussions, and medical complications. If the crash can be attributed to the negligence of another individual, compensation may be owed to the injured parties. A lot of confusion may result after an accident, leaving the wounded parties unsure about how to proceed. These steps can provide guidance and clarity to anyone involved in a car accident:  1. Think About Safety Immediately following an accident, the safety…
Many people utilize trusts to protect and manage their assets and ensure that these assets are properly distributed to their beneficiaries either before or after their death. However, the laws regarding trusts are changing. Effective January 1st, 2020, the Illinois Trust Code (ITC) will be replacing the current Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act. The ITC is linked in certain ways to the Uniform Trust Code (UTC), which is an arrangement of laws designed to establish consistent trust laws between different states. Before the ITC is implemented, trust makers and trustees may need to review their current trusts and determine how…
The death of a loved one can be very difficult, and it can affect an entire family. In addition to causing a great deal of emotional pain, the death can have a large financial impact as well, and family members may struggle to pay for medical care that was needed for their loved one, address funeral and burial expenses, and meet their own ongoing needs after the loss of an income provider. These issues can be hard to overcome in any circumstances, but they can be even more challenging if the death could have been avoided. A wrongful death may…
A property owner is responsible for taking reasonable care to protect the safety of those who are allowed to be on their premises. If a personal injury occurs because of a property owner’s negligence, the victim may be able to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered. Potential premises liability claims may range from a broken seat causing trauma at a movie theatre to a person being injured in a slip and fall accident at an individual’s home. An injury sustained from an unsafe or defective condition on someone else’s property is the root cause for a premises liability…
Wills are part of the estate planning process, an area of law that is sometimes underused or is not completed before emergency strikes. Generally, wills come into effect after a person passes. They outline how an individual’s estate and assets will be divided, who will carry out their last wishes, and who will take on the responsibility of caring for their minor children. Living wills are also meant to plan for emergencies, but they work in a different time frame and serve a different purpose. Why Create a Living Will?  Living wills are created to address what should happen in…