Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Appointments available in Chicago, Aurora, Oak Brook, Schaumburg, and Joliet. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!
By Rick Law, Senior Estate Planner in Suburban Chicago.
Even when individuals work hard their entire lives to accumulate wealth and provide for their families, all of their hard work could come to an end in an instant if they fail to properly plan. And certainly, people lose the ability to put a good, solid estate plan in place if they fail to make arrangements prior to death or incapacity. Estate planning can really be considered lifetime planning.
It should focus on planning for life, as well as for death. This includes not only the life of the individual, but also the lives of family, loved ones and their heirs. Thus, this type of planning will involve not just financial and tax matters, but also making sure that loved ones will be secure.
What happens to an estate upon death – and what can essentially determine the safety of one’s assets – will depend in large part on what kind of plan the decedent had in place at the time of their passing.
If one dies without having a will, then they die “intestate.” And, whether they have a will or not, their estate will likely go through the probate process. During probate several things happen, including:
• A petition is filed
• The death notice is published
• A hearing is held to validate the will
• Assets are frozen for inventory
• The executor pays debts, taxes or fees
• The executor files the tax returns
• Assets are distributed
• The estate is closed
In the next installment we’ll talk about wills and trusts and see what they mean to your senior estate plan.
Too many families needlessly lose everything they have. Don’t let that be you. If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.