All posts by Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

VALENTINE’S DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!

“To my Valentine.  I love you and want to be sure you’ll be ok if something happens to me…”  Important considerations when leaving assets to a loved one.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to tell that special person how much you love them.  If you’re married, or in a committed relationship, you probably want to be sure that your spouse or significant other is taken care of after your death.  And you probably believe that the best way to do so is by leaving everything you have to him or her.

However, consider this statement — “I love you, Honey, but it may be best if I don’t leave everything outright to you when I die.”  This seems to be exactly opposite of what most people in a loving relationship would ever say to their spouse or significant other.  However, this may actually be the best planning that you can do for that person, and even for your children or other loved ones for whom you wish to provide.

If you leave your assets outright to someone at your death, that person has unlimited access to those assets, which means that their creditors, a future spouse, or a divorcing spouse, also have access to those assets.  Instead, you can provide for them in a safer way by designating that the assets you wish to leave to them can be held in a trust for their benefit.  This can be done for your spouse, your children, or any other person you care about and wish to leave something for at your death.

In this type of a trust, you would choose a trustee (an individual or corporate trustee) to manage the assets held in the trust, and also to make distributions for the benefit of the trust beneficiary (i.e., your spouse, your child or grandchild, or any other person you name).  In the trust, you would provide when, and for what reasons, distributions would be made to the trust beneficiary, and at what age/ages, if any, the beneficiary would be able to withdraw assets from his/her trust.  You will also specify who will receive any remaining trust property following your loved one’s death.

Depending on your choice of trustee and the types of distribution and withdrawal right provisions you include in such a trust, you can provide your loved one with a significant amount of asset protection, or just a little bit of protection, or somewhere in between.  By doing this type of planning for your family, you can safeguard their inheritance from their potential creditors, divorcing or future spouses, other occurrences that may arise during their lifetime, or simply immature or bad decisions they may otherwise make.

So take care of your spouse or other loved ones, but also take steps to ensure that whatever assets may be left will go those who you choose.  We would be happy to discuss how you can incorporate this type of protection into your estate plan.  Please contact our office if you would like to schedule a free initial consultation, with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

NATASHA A. ADLER – SELECTED TO THE 2020 ILLINOIS RISING STARS LIST

 

 

Natasha A. Adler, Senior Associate of Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC, has been selected to the 2020 Illinois Rising Stars list. This Natasha’s second year in a row to be selected! Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in practice law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

 

Should you have any questions about business law or any other laws that may affect your business, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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JENNIFER HOWE – SELECTED TO THE 2020 ILLINOIS RISING STARS LIST

 

Jennifer Howe of Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC, has been selected to the 2020 Illinois Rising Stars list. This is her third year in a row to be selected! Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in practice law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

 

Should you have any questions about Family law or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This announcement constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

 

ILLINOIS SUPER LAWYERS – NICHOLE M. WALTZ

Nichole M. Waltz has been selected to the 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers list. This is Nichole’s second year in a row to be selected for Illinois Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

 

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

 

Should you have any questions about Family law or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This announcement constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

WHAT CAUSES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU?

There are so many good causes out there, and so many charitable organizations to serve them. What is important to you?  Perhaps it is research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer or some other disease that claimed the life of a loved one. Or, maybe you want to save abused animals or the rainforests, help underprivileged children, or aid the victims of domestic violence or natural disasters. You may wish to provide funds to your religious organization to assist in meeting its needs, or to your alma mater to offer scholarships or facilitate building improvements.  Whatever it is, if you would like to provide financial support to any organization that serves a purpose about which you are passionate, there are many ways to do so.

The easiest and most common method is to make a donation of cash directly to the organization.  You probably know that, subject to certain limitations, you can claim a deduction on your income tax return for qualified charitable donations made each year (so long as you itemize your deductions and keep the appropriate records).  This is a great way to offset some of your taxable income and choose where and how your hard-earned dollars are spent, other than on taxes.

You can also donate assets other than cash to a charity.  For example, donations of used clothing or household items are also deductible on your tax return in the year you give them away.   You may have stocks that have gone up in value since your purchased them, thereby resulting in a taxable gain if you sell them.  But if you donate these appreciated assets to a qualified charitable organization, you can take an income tax deduction and the charity can sell them with no capital gains tax.  You should consult with your tax advisor to determine the deductibility of different donations.

In addition to making donations during your life, you can leave a legacy gift to charitable organizations.  This can be done by including a gift in your Will or Revocable Living Trust.  It can be a specific dollar amount or a certain non-cash asset, a percentage of your total estate, or even a contingent gift to be made only if you have no family living.

You can also name a charity as a beneficiary on life insurance policies or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).   Distributions from an IRA are taxable income to the recipient in the year received, unless the recipient is a qualified charity.  Charities to do not pay income tax.  This means that the charity that you choose to receive all or a portion of your IRA will be able to use 100% of that IRA distribution for its purposes, rather than giving a cut to Uncle Sam.

There are even more tools available for you to make meaningful gifts to charities, including various types of trusts, donor advised funds, and private foundations, any of which may be right for you under your individual circumstances.

Donations made to a qualified charitable organization, using any of the methods described above, will be deductible for federal and Illinois estate tax purposes.

If there is a cause that is important to you, and you would like to provide financial support to that cause, we can work with you and your tax professional to make the gift in a manner that will assist the charitable organization in achieving its mission, and result in a tax benefit for you and your family.  Call our office at (847) 253-8800 to schedule a no-charge initial consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys to discuss this, as well as all of your personal estate planning goals.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services.  Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.