Estate Planning for College – Why Every Young Adult Needs a Will

DuPage County wills and trusts attorneyMost people assume that estate planning is only needed when you are old and nearing death or retirement. Quite the opposite is true, however. In fact, adults of all ages – even those just heading off for college – should have a comprehensive estate plan in place. Learn why, discover what estate planning documents are important, and see how an experienced estate planning attorney can help you get started.

Why Estate Planning is Important for Young Adults

Young adults may not have a lot of assets or possessions to speak of; they may not even have an income, but they still need an estate plan. The reason for this is simple: like everyone else, they still run the risk of incapacitation, should an accident or injury occur. Without the proper documents in place, parents may be unable to obtain pertinent medical information about their adult child’s condition or prognosis; they may also be denied the ability to make medical decisions for their child. Parents may also be denied access to their child’s financial accounts, which could endanger the student’s ability to return to school or dorm.

Meeting the Estate Planning Needs of Young Adults

Estate planning is different for young adults. They do not typically need things like living trusts, special protection clauses, or transfers upon death. Instead, the focus needs to be on ensuring that the young adult has someone listed as their medical and financial proxy. Young adults are also encouraged to consider what life-saving measures they are comfortable with receiving, and when so that they can outline this in an advanced directive.

It is important to understand that the process is not necessarily easier, simply because there are fewer documents. If anything, the estate planning needs of young adults can be both confusing and complex. Expanding circles, newfound independence, and concerns over parental access to grades and other pertinent information may create special needs or requirements. Furthermore, it is important that all aspects of a young adult’s life are considered, should a death over occur. Some elements can be easy to miss, especially when one considers the amount of digital information that most millennials have.

Contact Our DuPage County Wills and Trusts Lawyers

With more than 40 years of experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to trust with your estate planning needs. Regardless of your age, circumstances, or wealth, our DuPage County wills and trusts attorneys provide comprehensive and attentive services. Schedule a personalized consultation to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Source:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-your-collegeage-children-need-an-estate-plan-1379810952

Video Wills – Are They Right for Your Estate Planning Needs?

DuPage County estate planning lawyersTalking to your family through video and letting them know your wishes once you are gone sounds like an innovative idea. At the very least, it is indicative of the times, but is such a method considered valid by the courts? Learn more about the validity of video wills, including how to determine if they may be appropriate for your estate planning needs, and discover where you can find quality legal assistance with your Illinois will or living trust.

Are Video Wills Legally Binding?

Video wills are not typically considered valid by probate courts or judges. The reasons behind this are many, but one of the biggest concerns is that a judge may be unable to determine whether the person speaking was of sound mind at the time of the video’s creation. Furthermore, the judge may be unable to determine if the person was under any form of mental, physical, or emotional duress at the time that the video was made. As such, only a written and notarized will would be considered valid by the courts.

Combining the Best of Both Worlds

It can be disheartening to learn that video wills are not considered legally valid, especially if you had your heart set on making one. Thankfully, you do not have to throw out the idea completely. While a video will cannot replace a written will, it can supplement it quite well. It can give your will a more personal touch. It can comfort your family, long after you are gone. Video wills even give you the chance to deliver semi-private or intimate messages to those you love most, so do not throw away your idea. Instead, find a way to combine the best of both worlds; create both a written will and a video one for lasting, loving impact.

How Our DuPage County Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help

Estate planning is a complex process, with numerous potential consequences for your heirs. Protect them, and your estate, with help from an experienced estate planning lawyer. Able to examine your specific situation, an attorney can provide you with tailored and creative solutions to help ensure your estate planning needs and wants are met.

Backed by over 40 years of legal experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is ready to serve you. Caring and attentive, our DuPage County estate planning lawyers will walk you through your options so that you can make the most informed decisions possible. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call our offices at 630-665-2500 today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=5300000&SeqEnd=6800000

Transfer on Death Instrument or Living Trust – Which One Should You Use?

Wheaton wills and trusts lawyersHistorically, estate planning has been overlooked by the non-wealthy. Times are changing, however. Retirees and even younger adults are starting to recognize the benefits of an effective estate plan – especially when there is a smaller estate. You see, probate can quickly eat away at the value of a moderate estate, which may lead to significant losses for beneficiaries. In situations where the only transferable item is real estate, the loss may even prevent the procurement of the asset.

Thankfully, there are some preventative strategies that you can use, including Transfer on Death Instruments (TODI) and living trusts. How do you decide which is most appropriate for your situation? The following explores these two solutions and explains where to find assistance with your Illinois estate planning needs.

Living Trusts

Revocable trusts (otherwise known as living trusts) are legal documents that authorize a trustee (beneficiary) to hold and manage the grantor’s assets before death. This authorization can be extremely beneficial for those suffering from a degenerative brain disease, or someone that is at risk for incapacitation. However, it can be used by anyone to avoid probate upon their death. It should also be noted that grantors still own their funds until death, and they can alter or revoke a living trust at any time (provided they are of sound mind).

Unfortunately, there are some limitations and concerns with living trusts. They must be funded, so they can be expensive to set up. It should also be noted that a single mistake – even a minor one – can invalidate the trust and cause the estate to go to probate. Living trusts do not replace a will either, and there may be confusion about what should go in a will and what should be designated to the trust.

Transfer on Death Instrument

A TODI deals only with the transfer of real estate, so it is not a comprehensive estate plan. However, they are less complex (and often less expensive) than a living trust, and they can still be altered or revoked (with a few exclusions). Still, there are some limitations and exclusions that one must be aware of before setting up a Transfer on Death Instrument. For example, a TODI can only be signed by someone of sound mind who is not under duress. A TODI must also comply with all deed requirements, and it must be registered in the county or counties where the property is located.

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

Because each situation is unique, it is crucial that estate planners seek experienced legal assistance before moving forward. The skilled DuPage County estate planning lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC can help. Knowledgeable and dedicated to protecting your best interests and the interests of your heirs, we will examine your situation and then strive to develop a creative solution that works for you. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/estate-planning/living-revocable-trust-facts-1.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3382&ChapterID=60