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Estate Planning and Administration Archives

Beginning of a new year is a good time to review an estate plan

Many Illinois residents understand the benefit of executing final wills, advanced medical directives and other typically essential documents that help them keep their financial affairs in order, protect their assets and provide for their loved ones' futures. Once an estate plan is implemented, however, it does not mean what is done is done and no further attention needs to be paid to the matter. Quite the contrary, in fact, a key factor to success where estate planning is concerned involves periodic review of an existing plan.

Some say these superstars made big estate planning mistakes

Pop music stars in Illinois and throughout the world went into mourning when headlines announced the deaths of Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Prince. Following each performer's passing, all of which were unexpected and untimely, stories began to surface regarding their estate planning practices, or lack thereof. Since then, several reports have suggested that each of these superstars made major blunders where their estates were concerned.

Duties of estate planning and administration can be split

When choosing an executor to help administer an estate, an Illinois estate owner does not have to designate a sole individual. In fact, certain duties can be split between several people, if needed. The estate planning and administration process is able to be customized to suit a particular person's needs and ultimate goals.

Estate planning and administration not at top of everyone's list

In Illinois and throughout the nation, more people than not fail to execute solid estate plans. In fact, where the whole estate planning and administration process is concerned, only about 42 percent of people have final wills in place. A last will and testament is the most common form of estate planning document with which most people are at least somewhat familiar.

Estate planning and administration can be a gift to loved ones

In Illinois and elsewhere, the topic of mortality does not make many people's Top 10 lists of favorite conversations. Many people shy away from such topics because they want to focus on living rather than the fact that they are going to die someday. This hesitance often causes procrastination in the area of estate planning and administration.

What are the big 5 in estate planning and administration?

What if there were a board game that involved guessing the names of important documents often included in Illinois estate plans? Most players of adult age would likely include final wills and testaments in their answers. Beyond that, however, many people are surprisingly unaware of even the most basic types of documents used in the estate planning and administration process.

Watch out for these estate planning and administration pitfalls!

Many Illinois residents reach a point in their lives where they begin to think about the lives of their loved ones' lives after they're gone. Such thoughts often lead to the estate planning and administration process, an easily accessible means for asset protection and documentation of final wishes. The process of planning an estate is customizable; however, there are several common mistakes that should be avoided by all estate owners.

Do I always transfer property through probate?

If you learn that you are selected to be an executor to a loved one's estate, the responsibilities could be overwhelming. After all, the process of legally transferring property and assets from the deceased to heirs or beneficiaries (and even creditors) is not something that people do every day. Also, if there are disputes over who is entitled to receive the property, this can be daunting.

Expectations of an estate planning and administration executor

Unless a person is well-versed in state laws concerning matters of estate, the whole process of executing documents to plan an estate can be very confusing. Many Illinois residents are vaguely familiar with the estate planning and administration process; yet, within the system there are many terms and duties they do not really understand. Acting as an executor of a will, for instance, is something that often leaves people with many more questions than answers.

Widow of 9/11 victim discusses estate planning and administration

Most Illinois residents who were adults in 2001 remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when a terrorist group launched an attack against the United States on domestic soil. A woman in another state was a young mother of three at the time. She recently recounted her memories of that day and also discussed many lessons she learned in the aftermath of her own husband's death, including certain estate planning and administration strategies.

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