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Recent Blog Posts

When to Consider Reviewing an Illinois Estate Plan

 Posted on May 17, 2024 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerOne of the few things you can be sure of in life is that change will happen whether you want it to or not. Some people might find that comforting, as an opportunity for new beginnings; others fear change as it stops them from enjoying the things they have grown accustomed to, and still others fall somewhere in the middle. However you feel about it, it is a fact that nothing ever stays the same forever.

With that understanding comes the realization that you should be able to modify various binding agreements. This is true for arrangements you have made regarding custody and child support, your mortgage, and your estate plan. If you are concerned that changes you have or will experience can negatively impact the plans you have made for the future, speak with a skilled Schaumburg, IL estate planning attorney to discuss when estate plan reviews are recommended and how you might modify the arrangements you have already made.

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Reasons for Establishing Paternity in Illinois

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Family Law

IL family lawyerYour gender and marital status play a big role in determining how your relationship with your child is recognized by the state of Illinois. A woman who gives birth is automatically considered the baby’s mother and if she is married to a man at the time of the birth, he is automatically considered the father, without any tests carried out to check whether that is biologically true. If she is not married, there is no automatically recognized father even if the father is there at the hospital when the baby is born. If you are not married and you are expecting your baby to be born soon, you will need to go through some steps to establish your paternity, in other words, to be recognized as the baby’s father. A skilled DuPage County, IL paternity attorney can answer your questions and walk you through the process.

I Know I Will Be an Involved Parent. What Difference Does Paternity Make?

When a married couple has kids and then splits up, there are detailed legal processes dedicated to making sure the child’s best interests are protected as the former spouses transition from being a couple to being two single parents. When a couple is not married when the child is born, there are none of the same protections for the child or the parents, and in particular, the father.

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Out-of-State Properties in Your Estate Plan in Illinois

 Posted on March 27, 2024 in Estate Planning

Cook County estate planning lawyerWhen you live in Illinois but have property in multiple states, estate planning can become quite difficult. You will need to account for the laws in each state where you own real estate or other assets. Proper planning is essential to ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones avoid unnecessary hassles and expenses when left with the properties. An Illinois lawyer can help figure out the best way to handle your out-of-state properties to minimize challenges.

Ancillary Probate is Ideal for Out-of-State Properties

When you pass away, your estate will likely need to go through the probate process in Illinois, where your last will and testament are validated, and your assets are distributed according to your wishes. However, if you own real estate in another state, an ancillary probate proceeding is usually required in that state as well.

Ancillary probate is a separate court process in the state where you own the out-of-state property. It allows that state to have jurisdiction over transferring real estate ownership there. Ancillary probate adds complexity, time, and expense to settling your estate, so it is highly advisable to minimize this through proper planning.

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How Illinois Courts Determine Child Support Obligations

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Uncategorized

Blog ImageChildren require the basic essentials and both parents are obligated to support their children following a divorce, even if one pays the other child support. Illinois follows guidelines in determining each parent’s obligations toward supporting each child. But have you ever wondered why your child support payments were set so high or so low? Illinois uses an Income Shares model to determine who will pay the child support payments and how much the obligor is legally required to pay. Consulting an attorney can help you better understand the financial implications of child support and help you establish a schedule to ensure every payment is made on time.

How Does The Income Shares Model Work?

An Income Shares model helps estimate what the income of a household would look like if the parents were still living together. It does this by:

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How To Successfully Contest a Will in Illinois

 Posted on January 12, 2024 in Estate Planning

Cook County estate planning lawyerThe more beneficiaries there are in a will, the more likely someone will be left disappointed enough to attempt to contest it. It is not uncommon for family, friends, or colleagues to feel snubbed after a will reading. Some are grateful, whereas others feel they deserve more. When attempting to contest a will, it will require a reason that is more than "I think I deserve more." An attorney with experience in probate litigation can offer assistance in having a will thrown out by challenging its validity.

Common Reasons For Contesting A Will

There are a few different reasons to contest a will that can be successful. However, undue influence and a lack of testamentary (mental) capacity are the two most common reasons a will may be contested. Undue influence is when you feel that the testator (the person who made the will) was coerced or pressured into creating or revising the current will. Lack of testamentary capacity is when the person contesting feels that the testator was not of sound mind and body when creating the will. Other reasons for contesting a will include fraud or whether or not the will was executed and signed by state laws.

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Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

 Posted on December 11, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerGetting your affairs in order so that your golden years are much more enjoyable takes careful planning and foresight. By properly planning your estate, you put yourself in a better position to mitigate risks and take control of your “endgame.” An estate planning lawyer will have invaluable advice and guidance on how best to stay on track to meet your expectations later in life. Of course, planning mistakes can happen, and it is better to be proactive in avoiding committing them as early as possible.

You Do Not Have a Plan

The biggest mistake you can make with estate planning is not having a plan. Even those with a plan may have one poorly conceived and may have only garnered minimal thought on your part. Without a will or trust in place, the distribution of your assets is left up to the state to decide. If you care about leaving behind an inheritance or want someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so, you must meet with an estate planner. Father, time will not wait, so why should you?

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Who Needs a Living Trust in Illinois?

 Posted on November 10, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerMany people find trusts beneficial. Whether or not you choose to create a living trust is a personal choice. Though a lawyer is not necessary, hiring one experienced in estate planning can bring you much-needed peace of mind.

What is a Trust?

A trust can allow a grantor to entrust their assets to another while alive and maintain some control over them. It also allows the grantor to determine who receives their property after they die. While alive, a trust will manage your assets. Once you die, the trustee will distribute the assets to those that align with your wishes.

Benefits of a Living Trust

Living Trusts, which are created while you are alive, are designed to avoid probate, manage your assets in the case of incapacitation or death, and safeguard your financial property. A living trust can draw out a complete plan for how to deal with current and future assets. They can help you get assets to the right people and help protect them from others. Because of this, a trust can provide a special kind of peace of mind for how your assets will be handled.

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Tips on How to Deal with Difficult Ex-Spouses

 Posted on October 10, 2023 in Uncategorized

Schaumburg Divorce LawyerDivorce can bring along disputes that linger long after the process is finalized. An ex-spouse can often feel resentful or angry toward the other, creating a difficult situation moving forward. Divorce is already stressful enough without having to deal with the fallout. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to weather the storm that a difficult ex can bring about.

An uncooperative or combative spouse can only make life harder for you. Your best bet is to recognize where the conflict is coming from and adapt accordingly. A divorce lawyer can help with these matters. You can discuss your challenges with an attorney and they will often provide helpful tips to follow that can navigate the unwanted stress.

Avoid Engaging with Your Ex

An ex-partner may try to bait you into an argument that has no winner. It is best to walk away, end the conversation, or never begin one at all. Your ex’s behavior is out of your control. There is no point in attempting to engage with them after a divorce unless minor children are involved.

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Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid If You Live in Illinois

 Posted on September 21, 2023 in Uncategorized

Schaumburg Divorce LawyerProper estate planning is crucial for everyone. It is important to know and avoid common mistakes. Being proactive and strategic with your estate plan allows you to efficiently transfer assets to chosen beneficiaries and provide for loved ones. Working with an Illinois estate planning attorney can help streamline the process for you.

Not Creating a Customized Will

A primary mistake is never creating a will customized to your specific situation. Having a properly drafted will prevents assets from having to go through lengthy court-supervised probate and allows you to distribute property according to your wishes. It also lets you name a guardian for minor children.

Underestimating the Probate Process

Many people underplan for probate, the court-led process of asset distribution after someone dies. Even a simple estate can take over a year to go through probate. You can avoid probate through advanced strategies like creating a revocable living trust. 

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