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In this article, we’ll discuss what an advance directive is, the different types of advance directives, and how advance directives can affect a guardian’s authority over healthcare decisions.  Turning eighteen is a big milestone for most people. It typically signals the end of high school and the beginning of college, the legal right to vote, serve on a jury, buy tobacco and cigarettes, and the presumption that you are competent to make legal and healthcare decisions for yourself. That also means in the event that you become mentally incapacitated there may be a question mark over who and how decisions…
Whatever your given scenario, obtaining child support can be an emotional and confusing process. Some common questions regarding child support include, “How do I apply for child support? How far back do payments go? Is child support shared in Iowa? Can I apply for retroactive payments if I waited to notify the other parent?” In this article, we’ll discuss the process and any rules associated with getting retroactive child support payments in Iowa. And for more information on child support in Iowa check out our article Iowa Child Support Law 2020. Can I Apply for Retroactive Child Support in…
Not all evidence can be considered in a given case, whether beneficial or not. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of problems that can create evidentiary considerations during the litigation process. Ideally, we hope child custody cases progress smoothly with each side agreeing on terms and putting their child’s best interest first. Avoiding drawn-out litigation saves money and emotional stress, but sometimes both sides are out for blood and the process can become complicated. Anything from witnesses, documents, videos, etc, can and will be entered as evidence in support of one side or the other. However, there are instances…
In this article, we’ll discuss joint wills, and answer questions like, “What is a joint will?”, “Why and when would someone get a joint will?”, and “How do I get a joint will?” Estate planning can feel like a daunting task, especially when trying to do research on your own without a qualified professional to guide you. Often it’s not something someone even begins to think about until they’ve amassed or a certain amount of assets or have more responsibility, usually in the form of children. So when a married couple starts to think about what might happen to their…
This article came about because of an inquiry by one of our readers. So, In this article, we’ll discuss the legality of drug paraphernalia in Illinois and attempt to answer the following questions, “What is considered marijuana drug paraphernalia?”, “What does the current law surrounding paraphernalia and marijuana say?”, and “Is it illegal to possess marijuana paraphernalia in Illinois after January 1st, 2020?” Back in June of 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill legalizing the use of recreational marijuana by adults, beginning January 1st, 2020. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act included a number of stipulations…
In this article, we’ll answer the questions, “What is a Spendthrift trust?”. “Where does it fit into estate planning?”, and “Can creditors access funds in a spendthrift trust?” Depending on the financial and familial needs of a client, there a number of options available in the estate planning process. One such tool is a spendthrift trust. A spendthrift trust can be considered a type of living trust. There is the grantor (the person who opened the trust and who “owns” the assets listed in the trust), the beneficiary (the person(s) who receive the assets base on the language of the…
In this article we’ll answer the questions, “what is a spendthrift trust?”, “How does a spendthrift trust work?”, “When is a spendthrift trust useful?”, and “What is the role of the trustee in a spendthrift trust?” A spendthrift trust is one type of estate planning tool that should be considered when your looking to protect you’re money from creditors, avoid probate and make sure the beneficiaries don’t receive the transferable assets as one lump sum after death of the grantor. The spendthrift trust ultimately limits the assets available to the beneficiary and protects the rest of the assets still in…
In this article we’ll answer the questions, “what is a Totten trust”, “advantages and disadvantages of a Totten trust”, and “can creditors file a claim against a Totten trust?” Totten trusts are essentially bank accounts with a named beneficiary. They are another tool in your estate planning toolkit and can help some of your assets avoid probate upon death. You may have also heard the term, “payable-on-death account” used interchangeably with Totten trust, and that’s because they are basically the same thing. They are both informal revocable trusts that are made when the account holder signs an agreement with the…
In this article we will answer the questions: Can a creditor file a claim against a deceased person’s retirement accounts? Does the beneficiary named in the retirement account affect a creditor’s claims against the accounts? What steps can be taken to secure retirement accounts prior to death and avoid the reach of creditors? Most people don’t even consider what might happen to their retirement accounts in the event of an early demise, because most of us plan retirement with the idea that we’ll be around to enjoy it. But, like many aspects of estate planning, we must plan for the…
In this article, we’ll discuss Motions for Summary Judgments in Iowa and answer the questions, “what is a Motion for Summary Judgment”, “what happens during the Motion for Summary Judgement Process”, and “when should a Motion for Summary Judgement be filed in Iowa.”  What is a Motion for Summary Judgment? In a civil litigation trial, there are always two sides trying to build a case to support or refute a particular claim and to convince the judge or jury their argument holds more weight. Within those arguments we have the two elements that make up most arguments in a civil…
In this article we will ask the questions: “Can creditors claim life insurance proceeds in Illinois?, “Who are life insurance beneficiaries?”, and “Are there exemptions that would allow creditors to reach life insurance proceeds paid out to beneficiaries?” Can Creditors claim life insurance proceeds in Illinois? If you or a loved one have debts, you may be wondering if the proceeds from a life insurance policy would be used to pay those debts after death. The good news is that in Illinois, generally, the creditors of the deceased person have no rights against the money paid out by a life…
In this article, we’ll cover, “what is a land trust?”, “what are the benefits of a land trust?” “is a land trust considered nonprobate?”, “can a creditor file a claim against a land trust in Illinois?” A land trust in Illinois provides a unique opportunity for individuals to handle the ownership of real estate property that is not widely available to other states across the country. However, land trust laws can differ from state to state so be sure to seek out the proper professional guidance when considering a land trust for your real estate property.  The land trust is…
In this article, we will discuss driving under the influence of marijuana and ask the questions “can I smoke marijuana while driving?”, “is it legal to drive after smoking marijuana?”, “what is the current law in Illinois concerning DUIs and THC”, “what is the process for proving DUI of marijuana”, and “what to do if you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related DUI.” With 2020 came the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Illinois and with it a slew of confusion and concern from both the public and law enforcement. While the information on the topic is easy to find, more…
In this article, we will discuss motions to dismiss in Iowa and the specifics surrounding the process and the other Motions that come into play when a motion to dismiss is brought forward.  A lawsuit is initiated in Iowa by the Plaintiff filing an official complaint, which is a set of facts sufficient to bring forth legal action in order to obtain property, money, or enforcement of a right against another party, this is also known as a Cause of Action and refers to the reason the suit is being brought forward (IE battery, breach of contract, etc, etc.) The…
In this article, we’ll discuss creditor’s access to joint tenancy assets of the deceased person and the surviving tenant(s). We’ll also discuss a few drawbacks and limitations to be aware of when considering joint tenancy with respect to creditor’s claims. Can a creditor go after joint tenancy assets? Joint tenancy (with rights of survivorship) is extremely common between spouses and in nearly all cases creditors very little to no rights against property held in joint tenancy between the deceased person and the joint tenant. Upon death, the decedent’s interests transfer directly to the surviving tenant, escaping probate and the legal…
In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not a creditor can file a claim against a living trust and what level of reach a creditor has against assets in a living trust. Can a creditor file a claim against a living trust? For the sake of this article, we are discussing a common, garden variety revocable trust. Setting up a living trust, also known as a revocable trust, is a common part of estate planning and acts as a way for certain assets to avoid probate.  Most would think that after going through all the trouble to set up a…