Fox Valley Estate Planning Blog

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The Illinois Power of Attorney Act was recently amended. The Act requires an agent to maintain an accounting of everything the agent does with the assets and the funds over which the agent has control, and the new amendment puts some teeth in that requirement.
In a previous blog piece, A Word of Warning About Powers of Attorney, I cautioned that, “Powers of Attorney are a very useful tool, but they can be abused in the wrong hands. Powers of Attorney can also cause some very difficult issues to address for the agent who isn’t aware of or careful
Continue Reading Recent Amendments to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act

In 2003, experts estimate that an estimated 37 million individuals will need some form of long-term care by 2050.[1] According to the AARP, approximately 65% of seniors will need some form of long-term care during their lives;[2] of those, 35% will enter a nursing home at some point.[3]
Whether it is home health agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice, residential care communities, or adult day service centers, an individual can spend up to $10,000.00 per month for their care. In Illinois, the median cost for a private room in a nursing home was $8,121.00 per month
Continue Reading Think About Long-Term Care Insurance

When people die leaving debts, other obligations and property and funds to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries, the default mechanism for handling those things is called probate. Probate is the process of handling the estate of someone who has died. This includes paying all of the debts and final bills, satisfying any lingering obligations, and identifying the property and other assets of the decedent so that the net assets can be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. The rightful beneficiaries are the heirs of the decedent (if there is no will) or the legatees of the decedent (if there is
Continue Reading Executors Fees in Illinois

Anyone who is contemplating a divorce, is in the process of obtaining a divorce, or is recently divorced should think about estate planning. If you are still married, your spouse is considered your heir. So, an untimely death before your divorce is finalized will result in your spouse receiving some or all of your estate. If you are recently divorced, your ex-spouse may still receive a portion of your estate unless you make changes to direct the assets of your estate where you want them to go. Probably not to your ex-spouse.
If you are thinking about a divorce, going
Continue Reading Estate Planning and Divorce

Estate planning is something that is very easy to put off. Most of us do it, sometimes for a very long time. Some of us until it is too late. Estate planning is also something that keeps us awake at night with questions like: What will happen to my children if I die?
That question is what estate planning is all about. We plan our estates to provide for our loved ones. We provide for them by the assets that we leave them, but we also provide for them in planning out our estates so that they don’t have to
Continue Reading What Will Happen to my Children if I Die?

One of the most common questions that people ask about lawyers is: How do I find the best lawyer? If you need a lawyer, for whatever reason, that is the right question to start your search. Choosing a lawyer should involve as much thought as buying a car. Lawyers are not cheap; people don’t choose lawyers for insignificant reasons; so choosing a lawyer should be done with care and thought.
As with any significant decision, you should begin by doing your due diligence. While car purchases are often made on impulse, the better approach is to do your homework before
Continue Reading Choosing an Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document by which one person (the principal) can appoint another person (the agent) to act on the principal’s behalf in regard to financial and property matters (Property Power of Attorney) and health care and personal matters (Health Care power of Attorney). In other words, one person (the principal) can appoint another person (the agent) to do things for himself or herself that otherwise only he or she (the principal) would be authorized to do.
Powers of Attorney are prepared to address the concern about losing one’s ability to manage one’s own affairs. Without Powers
Continue Reading A Word of Warning About Powers of Attorney