A simple estate plan includes the following elements:
With minor children, additional issues arise regarding ownership of assets. These issues can usually be resolved with Trust provisions. A Trust can permit a “Trustee” to be appointed who will be responsible for holding, investing and using the assets for the benefit of the beneficiary. This way, the Trustee can retain control of the assets until the beneficiary is responsible enough to gain control. The most common types of trusts are Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Testamentary Trusts.
Residential and Commercial
Typically, when its time to buy or sell real estate, a contract is submitted from the Buyer to the Seller. This is considered the Offer. Once the Offer is accepted, a binding contract exists. Most residential real estate contracts contain “conditions subsequent” or “contingencies.” These are usually attorney review contingencies, professional inspection contingencies, and mortgage contingencies.
It is super important to be on top of the transaction at this phase, as sometimes this can result in another re-negotiation (which can also be a price re-negotiation).
When Selling a home, the Seller is required to purchase a Survey and a Title Insurance Policy for the Buyer. We have great relationships with Survey Companies and Title Insurance Companies and will assist with this process and also making sure that the Selling expenses are kept to a minimum.
We have experience with distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures.
Feel free to contact us if you need help with the following:
In year 2018, Federal Estate Taxes apply if a decedent’s estate is valued at $11.2M, and in year 2019, Federal Estate Taxes apply if a decedent's estate is valued at $11.4M, but Illinois Estate Taxes apply if a decedent’s estate is valued at $4.0M in years 2018 and 2019. Care must be taken in structuring formulas to avoid both Federal and State Estate Taxes. Also, flexibility must be maintained, as the Federal Estate Tax Laws can always change.
A will is a document that is testamentary in nature, can be revoked during the lifetime of the testator, and will be operative at the testator's death. The will does not have to dispose of the testator's property in order to be considered a will. A will can be used solely for the appointment of an executor or guardian, or to revoke an earlier will. If, at a later date, the testator wishes to change his will, a codicil can be drafted. A codicil alters, amends, or modifies a previously executed will.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which a trustee holds legal title to specific property under a fiduciary duty to manage, invest, safeguard, and administer the trust assets and income for the benefit of the designated beneficiaries, who hold equitable title. If a person wants to make a lifetime gift to her son, she can give the property outright to him, or she can create an inter vivos trust for his benefit. If a person wants to leave property to his daughter by will, he can bequeath the property outright to her, or he can create a testamentary trust for the daughter's benefit. A gift in trust rather than an outright gift might be seen as advantageous if the beneficiary is a minor, incapacitated, or inexperienced in handling money. Trusts are also often created for tax reasons.
An express trust arises from the expressed intention of the owner of property to create a trust with respect to the property. The trust can be a private trust or a charitable trust. It can be revocable or irrevocable. It can be used to deliver property inter vivos (during the lifetime) or testamentary (after death). To have a valid express trust, there must be a settlor who delivers the trust property to a trustee with the intent to create a trust for the benefit of beneficiaries. The trust must be for a lawful purpose and should be in writing.
There are many kinds of trusts. One common way to describe a trust is by its relationship to the Settlor's life. In this regard, trusts are generally classified as either living trusts ("inter vivos" trusts) or testamentary trusts.
Living Trusts are created during the life of the Settlor. Property held in a living trust is not subject to Probate (the court-supervised process to transfer property on death) and is not disclosed in the court record, thus maintaining the Settlor's privacy even after death.
A Settlor can use a Trust to provide for payment of a child's education, health and other needs without distributing the child's entire allocated share directly to him or her. Many Settlors prefer to have assets held in trust for the benefit of the beneficiary for a stated period of time in order to allow for the beneficiary to gain financial maturity. Trusts can be custom designed to meet the Settlor's particular objectives and concerns. For example, some Settlors choose to create "Incentive Trusts" for their children. An Incentive Trust can provide for distribution of allocated amounts to beneficiaries upon attaining a specified educational level or degree.
If the Living Trust is revocable, the Settlor reserves the right to change the terms and/ or beneficiaries at any time during the Settlor's lifetime. Upon the Settlors death, the terms of the Trust become irrevocable.
A Living Trust may also be Irrevocable. An Irrevocable Living Trust may not be altered or terminated by the Settlor once the agreement is signed. The purposes for creating an Irrevocable Living Trust may be to remove trust assets from the Settlor's taxable estate upon the Settlor's death.
A Testamentary Trust is created as part of a Last Will & Testament. A Testamentary Trust becomes effective upon the death of creator of the Will. The Will provides that part or all of the decedent's estate will go to a Trustee who is charged with administering the trust property and making distributions to designated beneficiaries according to the provisions of the Trust. Unlike a Living Trust (or inter vivos trust), the decedent's property must pass through probate prior to becoming subject to the terms of the Testamentary Trust.