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Posted on in Estate Planning / Probate

Kane County estate planning attorneyMore and more people are choosing trusts in place of or in addition to traditional wills. There are quite a few advantages to using trusts. Your beneficiaries will probably not need to go through probate before they can receive their gifts. You can gradually distribute money over time instead of handing your beneficiaries a lump sum, providing long-term financial benefits. Trusts can also help you keep everything private, as no one but your beneficiaries and trustee should be able to even see your trust document. Trust administration is usually less costly than probate as well.

However, there is still quite a bit of confusion about how trusts actually work. There is still a misconception that trusts are mainly for the very wealthy, when in fact, almost everyone could benefit from having a trust as part of their estate plan. If you are interested in learning how a trust could benefit you and your beneficiaries, you should contact an estate planning lawyer for more information. 

Forming a Trust

Forming a trust is not nearly as complicated as many believe. It essentially boils down to executing a document that sets up a trust as its own legal entity. You then “fund” the trust by placing property in it. This is largely a legal fiction. Most people name themselves as their own trustee and lifetime beneficiary, so even after you move your property into your trust, you retain complete control over it. While technically, your trust now owns anything you put into it, as both trustee and beneficiary, you are free to do whatever you please with anything you have placed in your own trust. 

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Geneva real estate lawyerThe decision to buy a home is a big one. Purchasing, rather than renting, is a long-term investment. There are quite a few advantages to buying a home, but there is also some risk involved. The residential real estate market is fast-paced and competitive at the moment. It can be difficult to do a thorough investigation and “jump on” a place quickly enough. Before you pull the trigger on a place and sign a potentially decades-long mortgage agreement, there are a few questions you should find the answers to. It is best to have an attorney helping you to make sure that you have all the pertinent information and fully understand what you are signing at closing. Failing to make sure you have the right information could lead to unpleasant surprises down the road. 

Answers You Need Before You Buy a House

If this is your first time buying a house, you may not be familiar with all the terminology used in real estate. Even experienced homebuyers may have difficulty understanding every clause in the documents they will be asked to sign at closing. This is another reason that you should involve an attorney in a home purchase - you will know exactly what everything you are signing really means. 

Some questions you should have answers to before buying include: 

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Geneva landlord eviction lawyerYour tenant stopped paying rent, or they are violating the terms of their lease, such as by subletting without permission. Or maybe their lease term is up, and they will not renew or leave. They could even be using your property illegally, such as by selling drugs out of it. Whatever the reason is, you need your tenant out and you need them out soon.

Depending on the grounds for eviction, and whether your tenant manages to fight back convincingly, it could take anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. While it may be frustrating to have a bad tenant essentially holding your property hostage, these rules and procedures are in place to protect people from being forced out of their homes on too little notice or for unlawful reasons. You will want to be represented by an attorney during this process. 

Factors That Can Impact the Eviction Timeline

In the best-case scenario, your tenant will receive your notice of intent to evict them and simply leave on their own. No one wants to have an eviction on their record if they can avoid it. If your tenant chooses to vacate on their own, you will not need to take any further action. 

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Kane County bankruptcy lawyerThere are a lot of different reasons that people ultimately choose to declare bankruptcy. Anything from a single unexpected medical emergency to a patch of unemployment can quickly cause a person to rack up debt they will not be able to pay off. Bankruptcy is based on the idea that people deserve a fresh start and there should be a way out of insurmountable debt. However, it is important that bankruptcies are handled correctly so that they do not lead to more legal issues. 

Mistakes during bankruptcy can cause further financial difficulty rather than relieving financial strain. It is quite easy to slip up and make a potentially costly mistake. Your best bet is to have your bankruptcy handled by an attorney. 

What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Declaring Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can be a very delicate legal procedure. Everything needs to be done correctly and in good faith. Some common mistakes people make during bankruptcy proceedings include: 

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Geneva estate planning attorney Estate planning means more than just writing your will. While a good estate plan may certainly include a will, there is a lot more to it than that. Testamentary planning - deciding what should happen to your property after you pass away - is an important part of estate planning. When most people think of estate planning, they are really thinking only about testamentary planning. Incapacity planning is an equally important part of estate planning.

Incapacity planning allows you to prepare for the possibility that you could become incapacitated in your own lifetime as is common in old age. No estate plan is complete until both parts have been thoroughly addressed. The exact types of documents you will need to accomplish both goals depends on your own personal situation and preferences. It is best to work with a qualified attorney to develop a complete estate plan. 

What is Testamentary Planning?

Testamentary planning is the part of estate planning where you decide how your property should be distributed after you pass on. It is important to do this even if it is emotionally challenging. If you pass away without having a testamentary plan, state law determines who gets what and your family will have to go through the notoriously difficult intestate probate process. 

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