Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Wills are Worthless?


Okay, wills are not completely worthless, but they are close to worthless. A will is simply a legal contract that states what a person's wishes upon death such as who shall inherit and who will be the guardian of their minor children.

Probate Court & Wills

The popular opinion is that a will is exactly what most Americans need upon death. In fact, in many cases, this is not true. For example, ownership of real estate or investment properties are the major cause of probate proceedings for the average American. A will does not avoid a court process upon death called Probate.

A will is a good way of distributing your property upon your death, but there must be a probate proceeding. A probate proceeding takes a minimum of 9 months to 3 or more years to finalize. Most people are not aware that wills must undergo probate court. With a will, you can avoid paying the surety bond (insurance essentially), but you must pay all other expenses such as court filing fees, attorney's fees, and any other court costs.

Opening Up Probate Estate-Cook, Will, & DuPage Counties

In the above counties and Illinois, one must either get a waiver of service or mail out notices to all potential heirs. In Illinois, this typically includes surviving spouses and children of the deceased or even possibly brothers and sisters. Mailing notices from an attorney is what causes many heirs to consult attorneys and contest the validity of wills. Thus, a court procedure invites family conflicts and these family conflicts result in increased court costs, attorney's fees, and long estate and family litigation.

Probate court often results in hurt feelings and broken families. In contrast, a Living Trust is similar to a Will, but if planned correctly, no court process is required. Additionally, a Living Trust is a private document unlike a Will. A Will must be submitted to the Probate Court. With no court process, the beneficiaries of the Living Trust are the only one's aware of the inheritance issues. Second, there is no requirement to mail anything to heirs especially hostile heirs. Third, if there any conflicts, an Attorney may choose how to handle those conflicts, which often result in less family conflict.

Thus, Wills are essentially worthless because the are like typewriters-obselete. Good candidates for Wills are people who do not own real estate. Another consideration is adult guardianship procedures. Seniors over age 55 years of age are increasingly finding incapacity issues are a major concerns. A properly drafted Revocable Living Trust or Living Trust may avoid these guardianship issues.

Sean Robertson, Esq. is a Wealth Preservation Attorney that concentrates in Wills & Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate & Guardianship, Commercial Transactions & Asset Protection law. Sean can be reached at 312-498-6080 or RobertsonLawGroup@gmail.com.

Southwest Suburbs Chicago:
9923 S. Ridgeland Avenue, Suite 99, Chicago Ridge, Illinois 60415

Monday, April 27, 2009

Seniors: Guardianship is a serious concern


Guardianship is increasingly becoming a big legal risk facing seniors over age 55. Guardianship is a court process when somebody lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves. When a person fails to execute a properly prepared Power of Attorney for Healthcare or Power of Attorney for Property, guardianship is required when one is incapacitated.

Guardianship is a court process where somebody must seek to be appointed guardian over their loved one's finances and healthcare decisions. Guardians are monitored by the court and cannot typically make decisions without a court saying "ok". Thus, guardianship can be an expensive and frustrating process for family members.

Seniors should execute a power of attorney for property & healthcare detailing their desires with respect to the handling of their finances such as who they want to manage their finances. Second, seniors should indicate who they want to appoint as their healthcare power of attorney. Seniors should also state whether they want their body parts donated or whether they want a Do Not Rescutate Order (DNR) or feeding tubes to assist them to eat. These are some of the many critical issues facing seniors.

Sean Robertson, Attorney at Law, concentrates in Estates & Trusts, Guardianship & Probate, & Asset Protection planning. Sean also serves as Corporate Counsel & Family Counsel to families who need a family attorney. Sean Robertson can be reached at 312-498-6080 or RobertsonLawGroup@gmail.com.

Sean Robertson, Attorney at Law
Robertson Law Group
9923 South Ridgeland Avenue, Suite 99
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 60415
w) 312-498-6080 f) 312-377-2480
e) RobertsonLawGroup@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Payroll Taxes & Asset Protection

I just read an article about many Americans particularly self-employed professionals are not able to make their quarterly estimated taxes. This has been a major problem over the last couple of years. Many self-employed professionals have been hit hard during this recession. Without adequate capital, many have failed to pay their fair share of employment or payroll taxes. The IRS is a jealous creditor and not a creditor that you want against you.

With advanced Asset Protection, you can protect your assets against potential liabilities such as IRS, Credit Card Companies, or Even Mortgage Companies. There is a law known as Fraudulent Convenyance, which means that you cannot hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor. Hence, the proper time to asset protection plan is prior to these potential litigation matters.

With the IRS, they have a huge leverage of you especially if you own a home. They can place a lien on your home and Levy your bank accounts or worse put your business into involuntarily bankruptcy. These are very serious matters where you will loose sleep over.

With proper Asset Protection, you can avoid liens being placed against your House & become judgment proof. For a free consultation, call Sean Robertson 312-498-6080 or RobertsonLawGroup@gmail.com.