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estate planning Archives

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is the process of turning your business over to the next generation of leaders. Many business owners dread this transition, as it signals the end of their involvement in an enterprise they worked so hard to build. However, succession planning doesn't have to be a stressful or negative experience, especially with the following tips from American Express.

Why should parents create an estate plan?

Most parents in Illinois know how vital it is to appoint guardians for their children should they die. It is something you do early in parenthood, almost as a matter of course. But do not stop there, parents. Planning your estate is also important, and for the same reasons. It takes care of your children--and your property--after you are gone. Even if you do not have a big house, huge savings account or hefty investments, an estate plan is a valuable legacy in and of itself.

Estate planning scams to look out for

If you're creating an estate plan in Illinois, being taken advantage of is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it does happen and if you aren't aware of common tricks and scams you could fall victim (and lose quite a bit of money in the process). Forbes offers the following information on a few of the more recent scams and how you can steer clear of them.

How Can I Locate a Lost 401(k)?

While it may seem impossible, it's quite easy to lose track of a retirement account. Maybe you changed jobs years ago and forgot to tie up any loose ends before you left. In this case you could have retirement money you lack access to, money that could make all the difference once you stop working for good. Forbes offers the following advice to help you track down a long-forgotten retirement plan in order to prepare for a bright financial future.

Should you appoint a child as power of attorney?

Choosing someone to be your power of attorney (POA) is a vital piece of estate planning since your POA will be empowered to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. Some Illinois residents feel their adult child is the best person qualified to become their POA. However, while there are good reasons for a child to be a POA, appointing an offspring can also cause substantial problems.

What is an inter vivos trust?

When you make your plans for the future, you want to be certain that no matter what happens before or after your passing, your Illinois business is safely handled by those you trust to manage your affairs - usually your family. You may be advised in this instance to set up an inter vivos trust, but what exactly is this type of trust?

Discussing your estate plan with loved ones

When it comes to estate planning, there are a wide variety of decisions you may have to make. However, those which affect your loved ones can be especially tough. For example, you may be unsure of how to have the assets of your trust distributed among your children and grandchildren. Moreover, disagreements and other challenges can arise within a family as a result of an estate. For example, siblings may find themselves in a dispute as a result of the estate-related decisions their parents made. Sometimes, these difficulties simply cannot be avoided, but you may be able to address any possible areas of concern by talking with your loved ones.

How can I create a reliable power of attorney?

As a part of the estate planning process, many people are concerned about selecting a power of attorney. Making the best choice is crucial in this case, as this person will be responsible for making essential decisions about your finances and health when you're no longer able to do so. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recommends the following tips in this case, which can help you find the best candidate in Illinois to assist you when the time comes.

What are the benefits of making a living trust?

For residents living in Illinois, the primary advantage to creating a living trust, or inter vivos trust, is that you can likely avoid probate. This means you may save your loved ones the time and often costly legal fees that can be associated with the court process that a will would go through.

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