Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Estate Planning

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When choosing a family law attorney, you probably have a number of questions. Some of our most common questions are found here. If you do no see yours listed, please contact our office directly. We are happy to help!

Estate Planning

Numerous IRS regulations have been released during the past year clarifying the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017 (“TCJA”). For example, home equity loan interest will be deductible, despite what appears to be clear language in the TCJA that it is not deductible, if the home equity line is utilized for a capital improvement to a residence. Additional IRS rules and regulations will continue to be released related to the TCJA. We are available for tax planning and advice throughout the year.

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If you have a quick question about the law or how it applies in your case, please feel free to call us at no charge.

When you meet with your Hoffman Estates lawyer to discuss estate planning, there are certain things your plan should include.

Estate Planning Process in 60194

An estate plan includes a will or trust, a durable power of attorney should someone need to act on your behalf, names of your beneficiaries, a letter of intent outlining the details of your funeral and any other special requests, a healthcare power of attorney in case you are incapacitated, and guardianship designations if you have children.

An estate plan should include all the property you own, including proceeds from any life insurance policies, retirement plans, and so forth. The entirety of your estate is the total of all your assets before deducting any debts.

Tangible Property

Property that is considered tangible, that is, those things you can physically touch, is included in your estate plan. Here are some examples of tangible property:

  • Artwork
  • Automobiles
  • Clothing
  • Documents
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Letters
  • Papers
  • Photos
  • Tools

Intangible Property

Property that you cannot physically touch, called intangible property, is also included in your estate plan. Here are some examples of intangible property:

  • Cash
  • Copyrights
  • Financial investments
  • Insurance policies
  • Interests in a family business, partnerships, and the like
  • Patents
  • Retirement plans
  • Royalties
  • Stock options

Real property, such as your land, your home, and any rental properties you own, should also be included in your estate plan.

It is best for your heirs and your own peace of mind if you make plans for your estate prior to your death. This is called estate planning, and you can make these arrangements in Hoffman Estates with your attorney.

Estate Planning in Schaumburg

People who die without a will or trust in place are said to have died “intestate”. This means that the laws of your state will make decisions about how your property is distributed, regardless of what your intentions might have been. A lot will depend on whether you were single or married at the time of your death and whether or not you have children.

What to Expect When One Dies "Intestate"

  • If you were single and have surviving children, your entire estate will generally go to them. Assets will be divided equally.
  • If you were single and had no children, your parents and siblings would likely inherit everything.
  • If you were single and neither parent is alive, your estate might go to siblings, descendants of siblings, and so on, as determined by the court.
  • If you are married and you die without a will, what your spouse gets depends on whether or not you have living descendants -- children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. If you don’t, then your spouse inherits all of your intestate property. If you do, they and your spouse will share your intestate property 50/50.
  • Unmarried couples do not inherit the property of their partner without a will in place because the laws only recognize relatives or married couples.

As long as you are legally an adult and you have an income, it is never too early to start planning your estate. While estate planning may be something often associated with older individuals, it is both possible and wise to begin putting your affairs in order as soon as you reach your early twenties.

Estate Planning in Hoffman Estates

While most people can expect to live well beyond this time period, having an estate in place can help simplify the legal process for your loved ones should you unexpectedly pass away. No matter how modest your financial assets, these funds will need to be accounted for after your death —and if you do not have a plan for your money during your life, the people you love will have to create a plan once you are gone. 

Plan Your Estate As Soon As You Can

We encourage everyone to plan their estate as soon as they are able. Depending on the complexity of your finances, you may be able to handle the paperwork and process on your own. To be sure you do not encounter any unexpected roadblocks, however, it is always best to consult a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Call us at Robert M. Kaplan, P.C. to schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning in Schaumburg, IL today!

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