Understanding the Four Main Types of Life Insurance

equity index life insurance, life insurance, term life insurance, types of life insurance, universal life insurance, Wheaton estate planning attorney, whole life insurance, willsFor obvious reasons, purchasing life insurance is an emotionally charged decision. Still, it is an important move that could save loved ones from financial hardship. This is especially true if you are the main income earner within your family.

It is a smart idea to consult a legal professional to discuss any concerns you have related to life insurance, wills, and estate planning. An experienced estate lawyer can provide feedback and advice based on your particular circumstances.

One of the most common challenges that come with purchasing life insurance is knowing the difference between the various policy types. Below is a basic breakdown of the most common insurance plans.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is generally the most affordable. These plans aim to provide a specific and reliable premium for a set amount of time. Options to increase the premium are usually available to clients who exceed the plan's duration.

Whole Life Insurance

According to CNN Money, these plans guarantee a specific cash amount at the time of death, and they usually require a steady payment plan that rarely changes. Given the guarantee, this plan ends up being a more expensive choice but can offer greater financial security should the worst happen.

Equity Index Life Insurance

A form of whole life insurance, equity index policies tie potential earnings to a specific market index. For many, this is an attractive option since, depending on the stock market at the time of death, one can accrue greater payouts than other plans would offer.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance plans have the benefit of providing a tax-free cash value, but they come at a higher cost than other policies. Many people find universal life insurance attractive since there is the option to adjust the premium each month. It is also possible to borrow against these types of policies, though this can be a risky decision.

When choosing a life insurance policy, the advice of a Wheaton estate planning attorney may prove invaluable. For legal services in Wheaton, contact the Illinois law office of Stock, Carlson, Flynn & McGrath, LLC today at 630-665-2500.

Is a Living Will Right for You?

advance directives, Illinois estate planning attorney, is a living will right for you, living will, medical careWhen making decisions about the future, one document that should be addressed by all adults is a living will. The Mayo Clinic defines a living will as “a written, legal document that spells out medical treatments you would and would not want to be used to keep you alive.”

With so many medical advances made over the last few decades, it is quite possible for a person to be kept alive for an extended period of time with the use of life-sustaining equipment, such as a ventilator for a person who is not able to breathe on his or her own.

Many people, however, often say they would not want to be kept alive under these circumstances because they feel their quality of life would be greatly compromised. Yet despite a person verbalizing these feelings at one time or another, if he or she does not have any advance directives in place, such as a living will, then these decisions would have to be made by family members.

Unfortunately, family members do not always agree with what is the best medical option. Therefore, an individual’s wishes, if not in writing, may not be followed. Another possible scenario is when two immediate family members (such as two adult children) disagree, and the decision of one’s future is then suddenly up to a judge because lawsuits have been filed. All this can be avoided with a simple living will.

Additionally, there are certain medical decisions you may need to make before you have an attorney draw up a living will. These include:

  • Deciding which life-sustaining treatment or choices you would want, which you would not want used, and how long should these treatments be used if your condition is not improving. These treatments include ventilation, feeding tubes, antibiotics and CPR;
  • Deciding what your feeling is about being given pain medication that provides relief of pain, but may also hasten death;
  • Deciding if artificial life support should be removed if you have been declared brain dead or should it stay in place until your heart actually stops beating; and
  • Deciding if you want your organs donated after you have passed.

Along with a living will, you may also want to consider having a power of attorney appointed in the event you are no longer capable of making important decisions about medical or financial issues. An experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney can help you through this process. Call 630-665-2500 today to schedule your consultation.

When Is It Time to Write Your Will?

DuPage County trusts and wills attorney, living will, time to write your will, when to write your will, will writingFor most people, the thought of sitting down to write a will is somewhat unnerving. It requires thinking about a time when one is no longer alive, which is understandably difficult. According to the AARP, close to half of Americans age 45 and older have not yet written their will. Though it may be hard for some, taking the time to plan and write out a thorough will can save a family time and money.

Determining the "right" time to compose a will is not the same for everyone. Since a will must contain current information, it is a document that requires constant updates. Instead of searching for a specific age when writing a will is most appropriate, it makes more sense to view it as a periodically updated document.

After Acquiring Property, Assets or Financial Changes

Without a legal and updated will, making sure the beneficiaries receive what is rightfully theirs can be difficult. This is why it is absolutely critical to keep all information regarding assets and property in a will.

For some, it is easier to think about a will representing one’s current financial standing and worth—as opposed to a document that is only important after passing. A proper will should read like a thorough catalog of one’s property and identify who is to inherit what after death.

After Marriage

For many, marriage is more than a happy occasion; it is also a time to update or start writing a will. If one spouse should die, it is important for the other to know what he or she will inherit.

Marriage is also a time when people purchase property and when ownership may change or adapt. These are changes that a will must document.

After Having Children

Having children is another moment when it is appropriate to update a will. Without an updated and valid will, children can spend thousands of dollars in legal expenses to secure what their parents had initially planned to pass on to them.

Contact a Trusts and Wills Attorney for Assistance

If you feel it is time to write your will and would like the assistance of an experienced DuPage County trusts and wills attorney, contact Stock, Carlson, Flynn and McGrath, LLC. Call 630-665-2500 today to schedule a consultation.