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Peoria Estate Planning. Probate And Elder Law Blog

What should I do if my SSDI claim was denied?

The physical, emotional and financial effects of a disability are widespread. They can prevent you from participating in activities you used to love. And you and your family could face significant medical expenses while you cannot work.

Social Security Disability Benefits offer a valuable source of income for families in this situation. But, what do you do if your claim for benefits was denied?

Why should you avoid a do-it-yourself will?

You may have heard about websites that advertise cheap estate planning tools. This may seem like an easy alternative to making a will with a lawyer. However, there are a number of things to watch out for concerning do-it-yourself (DIY) wills.

DIY wills often don’t account for complicated matters

Which is better: revocable or irrevocable living trusts?

A living trust is a trust you make during your lifetime, instead of one made on your behalf after your death. Because a living trust is made during your lifetime, there can be many benefits to creating one. However, some of the benefits you receive will depend on the type of living trust you create, so if you are considering including a living trust in your estate plan, one of your first decisions may be if you want your trust to be revocable or irrevocable.

The main difference between the two types of trust may seem self-evident based on their names. A revocable living trust is revocable, and an irrevocable living trust is not revocable. However, a deeper look shows that the ability to alter or revoke a trust causes other differences as well. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best trust for your situation.

Should I seek guardianship for my parent?

As your parents age, you may notice some changes. Perhaps, the power was shut off the last time you visited your mother, and you question if her memory is still what it once was. Maybe you find yourself wondering when your father last bathed himself.

It can be difficult to worry about the well-being of your parents, especially if they are trying to downplay their challenges. However, if you think something serious may be occurring, it may be appropriate to step in to protect your parent. One possible way to protect your mom or dad is by seeking guardianship.

Early withdrawal of 401K funds without penalty

When unanticipated circumstances unfold, an account holder can draw money out of a 401(k) without penalty if it’s a qualifying event. A non-qualifying early withdrawal from a 401(k) typically results in a 10% penalty tax and payment of the standard income tax rate. If you meet the requirements for an early hardship distribution, you can tap into these funds in your time of need.

Qualifying standards for early withdrawal

What are the different types of powers of attorney?

Although many estate planning documents address what you would like to happen after you pass away, some documents, like powers of attorney, address what you would like to happen if you are alive but have become incapacitated. There are two types of powers of attorney to consider based on the needs of your situation. These include a power of attorney for healthcare and a power of attorney for property.

Power of attorney for healthcare

What to look for in the right financial advisor

We want to trust the people we give our money to, whether it’s our accountants, stockbrokers or bankers. We do not want people to betray our trust and abuse their power for financial gain.

One of the largest groups of people we trust is our financial advisors. We depend on them to counsel us and determine our financial decisions into retirement. Believing the wrong person may lead to more than economic harm; it may result in financial ruin.

Why might you need to create a trust?

Estate planning can be a complex process with many elements and moving parts to consider, but it is an important component of anyone’s life.

Trusts can be critical parts of estate planning for people with considerable assets who want to protect their legacies and provide for their families. These are complicated fiduciary entities, but they provide many benefits. Why might you need to create a trust as part of your estate plan? What are the advantages? 

Pet trusts provide animal owners a peace of mind

Setting up an estate plan for when you die can be extremely beneficial to the surviving members of your family. However, there might be an important family member you are forgetting. Animal owners often fail to consider, what happens to Fido when something happens to them?

Luckily for pet owners, pet trusts provide a legal plan for furry family members after their owners pass away. Like a traditional trust, a pet trust is a legal document that names your animal as a beneficiary to your estate. You will also need to name a trustee who will manage the money in the trust for the animal.

Should you set up a trust for your family?

Making sure your family is taken care of even after you no longer can might be one of your top priorities. You've already begun estate planning and it is well thought out, but have you considered creating a trust yet? Some people think trusts are only for the ultra-wealthy, but this is not true. Creating a trust can be beneficial for families at any level of wealth.

Benefits of a trust