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Estate Planning, Wills and Elder Law
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- Attorneys and StaffWendy R. Morgan, Attorney
Joseph H. Sparacino Attorney
Andrew M. Klaas , Attorney
Katherine C. Adams, Attorney
Rodney C. Adams, Administrator
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Planning for the long-term care of aging parents or loved ones with special needs is undeniably complicated, and with baby boomers retiring, elder care and Medicaid planning for older adults with assets is more important than ever. Unfortunately, it is such a complex and confusing area that many families delay in making decisions until it's too late. The field of Elder Law covers all aspects of legal problems with the aging and individuals with special needs including but not limited to probate of wills, guardianship, guardianship avoidance, powers of attorney, living wills, testamentary wills, testamentary trusts, and various other types of wills and trusts.
While wills and trusts are especially important for the aging and individuals with special needs, they are not something reserved for just those individuals. A proper estate plan will avoid the chaos and waste of assets of an unclaimed estate, enhance your sense of security, and provide a dimension of personal well-being to your loved ones. Whether you are younger or older, married or single, a parent or without children, you should investigate of a need for an estate plan and/or a will.
Wills and trusts are common ways in which individuals distribute their wealth. A carefully created will is your most reliable guarantee to the distribution of your assets being conducted according to your wishes and desires. In addition, if your family includes minor children, a will enables you, to specify who you desire to assume responsibility for their upbringing, as well as the manner in which you wish them to be raised. Also, your will presents the most dependable way of communicating any special intentions you have (for example, arrangements for the continuing care of pets). It also provides the best means of indicating who should receive items and "keepsakes" that hold sentimental value. When an estate is conveyed through a will, the probate court must validate the will before its provisions can be effectuated so the proper preparation and signing of the Will is essential.
Assets held in a living trust, however, are not subject to probate. The advantages of avoiding probate are several:
Privacy and confidentiality: When a will is entered into probate, all of its provisions become a matter of public record. Since a living trust is a private arrangement, its terms are not made public at your death. Your assets and intentions are known only to your trustee and beneficiaries.
Reduction of expense: The expenses of probate are completely avoided for all assets held in your living trust.
Distribution is expedited: A living trust allows assets to be distributed to your heirs as quickly as your trust agreement instructs and the Taxing Authorities allow, without the additional delays of probate. For instance, a living trust can provide for your spouse to receive income to provide for living expenses immediately.
Our experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgan are not just attorneys, they're also people with families and they have years of extensive experience in helping Illinois individuals to plan for their long-term care, including the elderly and individuals with special needs. We understand our clients' needs may extend beyond the legal services we provide and are also connected to the local networks of professionals who serve the aging population.
Your estate plan controls the distribution of your assets and many other issues in the event of your death or incapacitation. If your estate planning documents are improperly prepared without qualified legal counsel, the effects can be seriously detrimental and cause irreversible damage.
If you have questions about Elder Law or Estate Planning, contact The Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgan to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
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