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Estate Planning

Getting Started

Estate Planning FAQ
Overview questions and answers about estate planning.

Get Organized Now
Help your family -- and make your executor's job easier -- by getting your paperwork in order.

Top Myths About Retirement Plans
Test your knowledge to see how much you know about taking your money out.

Checklist for Getting Your Financial Affairs in Order
Take the following steps to help your family should you die or become incapacitated.

Estate Planning Deficiencies Check-Up

Estate Organization

Getting Your Retirement Money Early--Without Penalty
Just can't wait for your retirement funds? Painless advice on how to get your retirement money early.

Married Couples: Who Owns What?
Be sure you know what property is yours to leave or give away.

Family Members' Right to Inherit
Your closest relatives may have a right to claim part of your estate.

Leaving Property to Young Children
It's easy to arrange for someone to manage any property you leave to young children.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children
If you have children, you should choose a personal guardian -- someone to raise them in the unlikely event you can't.

Trusts and Taxes

How Living Trusts Avoid Probate
Here's the lowdown on basic probate-avoiding living trusts.

Reducing Estate Tax by Making Gifts
Making gifts during your life can provide you with tax savings and more.

Charitable Trusts: Tax Breaks for Do-Gooders
If you want to give a big gift to charity, consider a charitable trust.

Tax-Saving AB Trusts
Couples can save a bundle on estate taxes with this kind of trust.

Life Insurance Pros and Cons

Do You Need Life Insurance?
Not everyone needs life insurance. Find out whether or not you do.

Life Insurance Options
When it comes to choosing a life insurance policy, you may feel dazed by your options. Here are the basic types and the pros and cons of each.

Using Life Insurance to Provide for Your Kids
Life insurance may be a good source of income for your children if you die. Here's what you should know.

Elder Law

Medicaid Planning and VA Planning

Advanced Directives

What You Can Cover in Your Healthcare Directives
An overview of some important medical issues you'll face when preparing a living will and a power of attorney for health care.

Choosing Your Healthcare Agent
Name the best person to direct your medical care if you are unable to do so yourself.

Duty of Medical Personnel to Honor Your Healthcare Directives
Know when health care providers must follow your instructions for medical care -- and when they may not.

The Perils of Prepayment Plans
Tips on shopping for funeral goods and services.

Final Arrangements FAQ
Planning some of the details of your burial or cremation -- and your memorial services -- can be a great relief to your survivors.

Arranging to Donate Your Organs
How to donate your organs after death.

Arranging to Donate Your Body
How to arrange a full body donation to a medical institution.

Articles

The Doings Hinsdale, September 24, 2009 - "Making POA's Work for You."

Media Interviews

US News & World Report, November 5, 2007 – Partner Bill Wilson was quoted as a legal source in the article “How to Avoid a Death Trap” about the importance of proper estate planning.

Chicago Life Magazine, October 13, 2012 - Elder Mediation, by Marilyn Soltis