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If you have always been ahead of the crowd in adopting new technology, you need to make sure your estate plan is as up-to-date as you are.

When cryptocurrency launched, it touted two main advantages — security and tax avoidance. While the first bitcoin came out in 2009, it took a while for governments to realize cryptocurrency was here to stay. Therefore, they are still playing catch up to regulate it.

Keeping things secret is not good for your heirs

The security advantages that cryptocurrency promises can be its downfall if you do not allow for access in your estate plan.

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Unexpected events can often result in significant financial stress, leading to a higher amount of debt. Bankruptcy can be a practical and viable option for Chicago area residents who find themselves with debts that have become unmanageable. Deciding to file for bankruptcy is a major decision and the process can be confusing. Therefore, it is important to understand your bankruptcy options, the requirements and the steps involved.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the fastest and best way to eliminate debt, but this type of bankruptcy doesn't work for every person and every form of debt. For instance, credit card debts and overdue utility or medical bills can be discharged, but, debts such as child support, student loans or tax obligations cannot.

Credit counseling is required as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. The counseling must be done through a Department of Justice approved credit counseling agency and can be completed on the phone or online. The goal of the counseling is to provide an understanding of the bankruptcy process and the impact and potential future consequences of filing for bankruptcy.

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Most people have no experience with wills or the probate process. As a result, if you've been named the executor of a will, you're likely wondering what you have to do, what is the process like and whether there is any way to simplify things. There may be, but it depends on a few different factors.

What is the small estate option?

Illinois understands that going through probate can be a complex and time-consuming process. In light of this, a streamlined process was created for instances where the estate is small enough – to alleviate some of the burden on surviving family members. When an estate qualifies, an executor can file a small estate affidavit and avoid probate entirely.

What are the requirements for a small estate affidavit?

At the outset, the value of the deceased's assets must be less than $100,000. This is not always obvious at first glance – what may appear to be an asset could legally pass to another person or entity without ever going through probate. For instance, if the deceased owned property jointly with someone else, it may pass automatically to the other owner and not be considered an asset for the purpose of probate.

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Posted on in Uncategorized

The passage of time occurs more quickly than anticipated and unexpected events can arise anytime. Regardless of your level of wealth, you should start an estate plan and have these documents prepared.

Power of attorney

A durable power of attorney is one of these essential estate documents. It authorizes an agent to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you ever become incapacitated.

A durable power of attorney allows the agent to assume these tasks immediately.

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Posted on in Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy process. There are different Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions that can protect some of the filing party's property from the process of selling property to repay creditors. Those interested in Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection should be familiar with what the Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions are.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions

There are several categories of Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions including:

  • Homestead exemption – the homestead exemption allows the filing party to protect equity in their home. A consumer filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection can exempt up to $15,000 in equity in their home from the bankruptcy process. The amount of equity they can protect goes up if the filing party is a married couple filing for bankruptcy jointly.
  • Wage exemption – filing parties can exempt a certain percentage of their wages.
  • Vehicle exemption – filing parties can exempt up to $2,400 of the value of their vehicle.
  • Tools of the trade exemption – filing parties can exempt up to $1,500 worth of implements necessary for the filing party to perform their trade.
  • Personal property exemption – filing parties can exempt certain personal property such as necessary clothing, family pictures, prescribed home health aids, certain books and several other categories of items.
  • Wild card exemption – the wild card exemption can be used to protect up to $4,000 in property that would not otherwise be exempt.

Other bankruptcy exemption categories include pension and retirement exemptions, government benefits exemptions, insurance exemptions and some others. Bankruptcy property exemptions are an important protection that is built into the Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection process. For that reason, filing parties should be familiar with the different types of property exemptions they may be able to claim.

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