Planning with Wills and Trusts
Estate Planning simply means giving what you have, to who you want, when you want, the way you want, and doing so in a manner which you control. Good planning, whether your situation is simple or more complex, preserves family harmony, protects assets, eases administrative hassles and can reduce taxes, fees and costs. Every family deserves a quality estate plan.
Future Care Planning for Children and Adults with Special Needs
If you have a loved one with a disability who will not be completely independent as an adult, you will need to engage in estate planning to provide the resources to fund a lifetime of care. Preparing for your loved one’s future is important because the alternative is total dependence on the government support system—which may or may not be available in the future.
Protecting Assets from Lawsuits and Creditors
Proactive asset protection planning is a systematic arrangement of your assets to minimize the possibility of creditor or predator attacks. Successful individuals are targets for lawsuits regardless of whether the lawsuit is justified. Even if a lawsuit is unjustified, you may spend substantial sums of money defending yourself. Even if a lawsuit is frivolous, a jury might disagree, subjecting your personal wealth to a court-ordered judgment against you. Because so many people are concerned about the threat of lawsuits, asset protection planning is a rapidly expanding area of the law.
Exit Strategy Planning for Business Owners
If you are a business owner, your business often represents one of your most valuable assets as well as your life’s work. A highly effective estate or asset protection plan is predicated upon having an effective business plan. Such a plan should help you earn the greatest possible return on your initial investment, minimize your tax liability, protect your family and the business entity itself, while allowing for the possibility of growth and success. A well thought out plan will also offer protection against the financial consequences of operational problems or downturns in the economy. Finally, it must take into account the timing and manner of your exit from the business.
Transferring Assets After Death
When a loved one passes away, their Executor or Trustee must handle the process of transferring their assets to the intended beneficiaries. This process can be accomplished through the court process called probate or if the decedent’s assets were titled in a trust, by a trust administration.
Illinois Medicaid Eligibility for Nursing Homes
If you need nursing home care, you might be eligible for Illinois Medicaid benefits. These benefits pay your monthly care costs to nursing homes and some assisted living facilities. To qualify for benefits, you must meet certain medical eligibility requirements and have limited income and assets. If you are a single person, you may only have $ 2,000 in assets to qualify—although there are some exceptions. If you are married, the limitations are similar—although the spouse in the community is entitled to keep certain assets and income.
Cash for Veterans
Monthly Cash Payments for Veterans
If you are a wartime veteran or the spouse of a wartime veteran, you may be entitled to receive a monthly cash payment to offset the burden of nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care costs. The monthly cash payment available from the Veteran’s Administration is paid through the Aid and Attendance Program and is referred to as a monthly “pension.” If you are a veteran and you qualify, you are entitled to receive a monthly cash payment of $ 1,794 (2017). If you have a spouse, you will receive an additional amount each month. If you are the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran and you qualify, you are entitled to receive a monthly cash payment of $ 1,153 (2016).
Consider Adult Guardianship and Alternatives at Age 18
Becoming your child’s guardian at age 18 allows you to continue to make personal and financial decisions on behalf of your child. If you do not become your child’s legal guardian, you will no longer have the legal authority to make these important decisions. For example, if your child enters a hospital after they turn 18, and medical decisions need to be made, the child’s doctor will ask you to show guardianship papers before treating your child. The law presumes your child is capable, even if they are not. Obtaining guardianship must be done through filing a petition with your local court.