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Leave your Trust to your Grandchildren NOT the Government!

A Dynasty Trust in Roselle and Schaumburg Can Help Leave Your Assets to Your Grandchildren – Not the Government!

A lot of people complain about high taxes. Looking at what the government takes from your weekly paycheck can be frustrating. But, it could be worse. Even people who don’t complain about taxes (there are a few) and understand it takes money to run the government would complain if they understood that it is possible for the government to tax the same money over and over and over. And, it happens more than you think.

Here’s a scenario:

You and your spouse leave a very large amount of money to your daughter without a trust – or, in a poorly drafted trust (yikes!). The money is taxed when it is transferred to your daughter. Your daughter leaves money she inherited to your grandchildren without a trust. Guess what? You’ve got it – that money is taxed again!

It is upon learning this that a well-meaning grandparent suggests leaving the money to their grandchildren rather than the child to avoid one of those tax events. Not so fast! In that scenario the federal generation-skipping transfer tax could apply.

Here’s another scenario:

You and your spouse leave $10 million to your child. If her inheritance grew over time, it would be subject to the estate tax at her death. That could result in millions going to pay estate tax.

There is a solution that could be used to stop the government from double-dipping. It’s called a Dynasty Trust. Assets that you put in a dynasty trust, plus any interest earned over the years, are still subject to federal estate tax, but just once – when you transfer them into the trust. The assets will not be taxed again even though several generations can benefit from them.

It’s important to note here that income taxes are still due on any income that is generated by the assets in the trust. Therefore, most people choose to put assets that do not earn money in the trust, such as growth stocks that don’t pay dividends and life insurance policies.

Dynasty trusts are complex legal documents, so they should be prepared by experienced estate planning lawyers in Roselle and Schaumburg who have experience with trust and tax planning strategies. If you are interested in talking with an attorney with this experience, call our office at 630-908-2752 to set up a consultation.

Annual Estate Plan Review Checklist for Illinois Resdents

Hopefully you go to the doctor for a yearly physical. Getting a good checkup gives you a feeling of contentment
knowing you are doing all you can do to keep yourself healthy. Have you considered a yearly estate planning checkup? Going through your documents and reassessing your decisions will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve done all you can do to keep your family secure if something happens to you.An annual review doesn’t mean you have to read the legal documents front-to-back. Just go through the most important elements to make sure you would make the same decisions today. Here’s a checklist that will walk you through the process:
  • Major life changes

Have you had any life changes since you last updated your estate plan? Have you gotten married? Have you had a child? Have you recently moved from another state? All of these life changes may impact you estate planning which require your will or trust to be updated.

  • Consider your executor and/or trustee designations
Is the person you selected to be executor the person you would select today? If circumstances have changed and you now question whether this person is responsible and trustworthy you should consider updating your will or trust. Also, if you named one person, you may want to choose co-trustees who would work together. You may also want to set up additional levels in case your first choice of trustee is unable to execute.
  • Grandma’s wedding ring
Is there a particular family heirloom or other item or property that you want to go to a specific person? You might now want to update your will or trust to make sure that happens.
  • Financial power of attorney
Your financial power of attorney will act for you in a wide array of financial and business matters. It is essential that you think about the person you named and make sure that you still consider them the best choice for you.
  • Your health
Review your health care power of attorney to make sure that the person (or people) you named is someone you still trust to make major medical decisions for you. If your health care power of attorney lives in another city or state, you might want to consider naming someone local in case of an emergency.
  • Life insurance and retirement funds
While technically not a part of your estate plan, be sure to assess the choices you made as beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement plans. Many people forget to update these after a divorce and you certainly don’t want your ex-spouse to inherit those funds.
This checklist should take you quickly through some of the most important parts of your estate plan here in Roselle, IL. If you need to update them, don’t delay. Procrastination is not your friend when it comes to estate planning!

Schaumburg Wills and Trusts Lawyer: How to Handle Underage Beneficiaries

Many grandparents wish to leave a legacy behind for their grandchildren; however, they may run into some issues if those children are underage. A Schaumburg Wills and Trusts attorney can help you determine what the best options are for leaving assets to underage beneficiaries, whether those assets are held in a Will or Trust, financial accounts, or as part of a life insurance benefit.

Underage Beneficiaries in a Will or Trust

Schaumburg Will and Trust lawyers will always ask their clients if any of their beneficiaries are underage, or even if they would like to keep younger beneficiaries from accessing their full inheritance until they’ve reached a certain age, which is usually 25. If the children are underage, an adult property guardian must be named since minors are not allowed to own property. If a significant amount of property is left to the minor, a Trust should be set up to manage the property until the child comes of age. In fact, Trusts can be used to ensure the minor only receives their full inheritance once they reach a certain age or milestone, such as graduating from college, while at the same time providing assets to make sure the child can achieve that milestone. A Schaumburg Wills and Trust lawyer can speak with you about leaving an inheritance to an underage child and will help you choose the best option for administering the distributions.  

Underage Beneficiaries of Financial Accounts

Many people choose to make beneficiary designations directly on their financial accounts, such as savings accounts, annuities, and retirement plans. Schaumburg Wills and Trusts attorneys urge their clients to carefully examine the details surrounding these beneficiary designations, as minor beneficiaries often cannot directly inherit assets after your passing. It is important to consult with a Schaumburg Will and Trust lawyer to determine the best way for your underage beneficiaries to receive the inheritance you leave for them at the time when they can make informed financial decisions on their own. Directing the assets to a Will or Trust is often the best bet in these situations, but consulting with an attorney will give you a much better idea of how this should be done.

Underage Beneficiaries of Life Insurance

Many parents and grandparents name their children or grandchildren as beneficiaries on their life insurance policies. As with the cases above though, an adult guardian or a Trust must be named in order to hold the life insurance proceeds until the minors come of age. It is generally not advised to name minors as beneficiaries to life insurance policies, as courts will often appoint an adult to look after the proceeds until the child comes of age – and that adult may not be someone you would have wanted appointed to such a role. Speaking with a Schaumburg Will and Trust lawyer may help you determine the best way to handle your life insurance beneficiary designations.

If you have any questions about the best ways to leave an inheritance to underage beneficiaries, please contact us at 630-908-2752 or s.haugh@haughlawgroup.com to set up a consultation.

Schaumburg Trust Attorney: Tips When Storing Valuables and Documents in Safe Deposit Boxes

Storing Valuables in a Safe Deposit Box

Close-up portrait of a happy senior couple at home

As you work with a trust attorney in Schaumburg, you will likely end up making a list of your assets. Some of these are tangible, such as property and heirloom jewelry. Others are not so obvious and could include important documents related to marital status or military service. Each of these items is an important part of the plan you put together with your estate planning lawyer, and each needs to be kept secure and in a place where you can find it.

Oftentimes, a safe deposit box at your bank is the perfect place to keep these kinds of assets. Obviously, you can’t keep a home or a piece of property in a metal container at your financial institution, but the related deeds and titles can definitely be safeguarded in a safe deposit box. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, death certificates, and military records are just some of the documents that should be safeguarded. However, you may find that you need access to them more often than is convenient to get them from your safe deposit box. A good trust attorney in Schaumburg should be able to guide you when it comes to which documents need to be kept at home and/or which ones may only require a copy at home while you keep the originals in your safe deposit box.

Who Can Access Your Safe Deposit Box?

One of the main reasons to rent and use a safe deposit box is because access to the contents is very limited. Other reasons include the fact that valuables are much less likely to be stolen or destroyed in a home invasion, fire, or natural disaster. It is possible to allow others access to your safe deposit box, and there are times when it can be a good idea. For example, the person you and your estate planning lawyer designate as the executor of your estate may be better able to do his or her job with access. Keep in mind, though, that the act of making them an executor of the estate can be enough to allow them access, although they will need the correct documentation and possibly a copy of your death certificate.

Additionally, someone you’ve given financial power of attorney may also be granted access in order to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated. In order to do this, you will need to follow the procedure laid out by your bank, which usually includes appearing in person with the other party so everyone can show identification and the new person can sign a signature card. This does mean that this person can access the safe deposit box any time, whether you are present or not, so there is some potential risk. Take care to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons with your trust attorney in Schaumburg before giving authority to access your safety deposit box to others.