Kids Going Away To College?

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

You may have been running around for weeks, getting your new college student off to school. It’s exhilarating, and your heart likely is bursting at the seams. You’re probably prouder than words can express, but you’re also a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, their new home away from …

Share this Article

Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

Confused about the differences between wills and trusts?  If so, you’re not alone. While it’s always wise to contact experts like us, it’s also important to understand the basics. Here’s a quick and simple reference guide: What Revocable Living Trusts Can Do – That Wills Can’t Avoid a conservatorship and guardianship. A revocable living trust allows you to authorize your …

Share this Article

Strategies for Reducing the Income Tax Squeeze on Irrevocable Trusts

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

Under federal income tax laws, irrevocable, non-grantor trusts (such as Bypass Trusts and Dynasty Trusts) are subject to highly compressed income tax brackets. In 2014, the top 39.6% tax rate kicks in at only $12,500 of trust income. In addition, trusts in the top tax bracket are subject to the 20% long-term capital gains rate and a 3.8% surtax on …

Share this Article

Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

Trust protectors are a fairly new and commonly used protection in the United States. In short, a trust protector is someone who serves as an appointed authority over a trust that will be in effect for a long period of time. Trust protectors ensure that trustees: maintain the integrity of the trust, make solid distribution and investment decisions, and adapt …

Share this Article

Illinois Probate Law: A Surviving Spouse’s Rights to the Decedent Spouse’s Estate

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

When a spouse dies without a will, we call this dying “intestate” and the surviving spouse will have the right to an intestate share. Intestacy laws vary by state, but in Illinois, if the decedent has no other descendants, the surviving spouse will receive the entire estate after all just claims are fully paid. If the decedent has descendants, the …

Share this Article

Decanting:  How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

While many wines get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts.  Maybe you’re the beneficiary of trust created by your great grandfather over seventy years ago and that trust no longer makes sense.  Or, maybe you created an irrevocable trust over twenty years ago and it no longer makes sense.  Wine connoisseurs may ask: Is …

Share this Article

Irrevocable Trust Decanting in 4 Steps

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

We all need a “do over” from time to time. Life changes, the law changes, and professionals learn to do things in better ways. Change is a fact of life – and the law. Unfortunately, many folks think they’re stuck with an irrevocable trust. After all, if the trust can be revoked, why call it “irrevocable”? Good question. Fortunately, irrevocable …

Share this Article

Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

Rincker Law Estate Planning Leave a Comment

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as the initial trustee so you can continue to manage your financial affairs. Eventually someone else will need to step in when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death, however. Your successor trustee plays an important role in the effective implementation of …

Share this Article

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

A common misconception is that estate planning equates to death planning.  But planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle.  It is just as important to make a plan for what happens if you become mentally incapacitated. What Happens Without an Incapacity Plan?                    …

Share this Article

Big “Life Changes” Often Mean Big “Estate Plan Changes”

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

Many people who put together an estate plan do so when they start a family – assuming they put an estate plan together at all during their lifetime. While putting an estate plan together is a good thing to do, many people make few updates once the plan has been created, despite other key life events happening over the years. …

Share this Article

Don’t Rest Easy: Reopening a Closed Estate in Illinois

Cari Rincker Estate Planning, probate Leave a Comment

When a loved one passes away, navigating the probate process can be daunting and exhausting.  Once the estate has been distributed and probate is closed, it would be nice to rest easy knowing that “what’s done is done;” however, it is important to understand that there are a few circumstances where a closed estate can be reopened again in Illinois. …

Share this Article

Escape From a Bad Trust: 5 Strong Reasons to Decant Your Trust

Cari Rincker Estate Planning Leave a Comment

When a bottle of wine is decanted, it’s poured from one container into another. When a trust is decanted, trust assets are poured from an old trust into a new trust with more favorable terms. Why Should a Trust Be Decanted? Trusts are decanted to escape from a bad trust and provide beneficiaries with more favorable trust provisions and benefits. …

Share this Article