Mar 12 2013
Estate planning isn’t just about planning for death and for your loved ones to be taken care of you when you die. At its root, estate planning is all about planning for the future, and in a world in which traditional routes of retirement planning have changed significantly, it’s now more important than ever to think about retirement even when it’s a long way off. According to Bankrate, there’s a “flurry of new changes taking place in the retirement planning industry,” and they’re not trends to be ignored.
David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, based in Chicago, told Bankrate that “there’s been a philosophical shift going on for several years from a ‘if you build it they will come’ mentality to a more paternalistic approach of offering (retirement) plans.” One example of this is the growth of numbers of companies that offer automatic enrollment in a 401k plan, which usually reduces the take-home paycheck by 3 percent. As Bankrate reports, “currently, the number of companies offering automatic enrollment is heading steady at about 30 percent, but as market conditions improve, that figure could climb to 50 percent.”
In this unstable market and given how quickly conditions can change for even the most time-tested means of retirement savings, it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified professional when looking to the future. Not all investments—even those in 401k’s—are guaranteed, and the process of planning is best gone through with an experienced team on your side. If you or someone you know is interested in retirement planning, don’t go through it alone. Contact a Chicago-area estate planning attorney today.
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Feb 26 2013
We all plan on a future of retirement and enjoying our lives. Some even go so far as to plan out their estate for the younger generations to be secure financially. Much planning and investing has to happen in order for that to occur. Finding the right person to assist you in that process is crucial. Getting the wrong person can be detrimental to your future.
San Diego Country residents, Victor Loh and his wife, Jannett Bidwell, created that bond with many elderly people as financial planners and insurance sales representatives. They conned 17 people into investing money in bogus investments the couple could easily transfer out and use on things like expensive cars, horses and trips. These lump sums were savings from people who were looking into investing in their future but instead were schemed out of their hard earnings.
December 27, 2012, Loh was convicted to six years and four months in state prison for lying to the 17 people out of their $4.25 million that went back all the way to 2008. By him pleading guilty to all four counts, he will now have to pay a restitution of the total amount. His wife, Bidwell, will be sentenced later this year hopefully on June 26, 2013.
Choosing an estate planner who can help you with not only your retirement but your estate after death is crucial. You want someone you can trust and who has the experience for the undertaking. An Illinois experienced estate planning attorney is your best bet to insuring the future of your assets.
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Feb 14 2013
A recent study conducted on behalf of Southern Baptist Convention shows that nearly 40 percent of pastors do not have a trust, will, living will, electronic will, legacy story, or durable power of attorney with health care directives. The survey also shows that the younger generation—aged 18 to 44—is the biggest group without any estate documentation.
Many believe that the court will decide what to do with both property and children if a will is not in place. However, the survey revealed that more than half of the pastors misunderstand the court’s role in property division, and 1 in 5 misunderstand what happens to children.
“Estate planning is really about good stewardship for your family,” says Warren Peek, president of the Southern Baptist Foundation. “Basic planning saves a lot of headaches and ensures that assets are not lost.”
Scott McConnell, the director of LifeWay Research—the company that conducted the survey—is quoted in this article about the survey results. Of the pastors surveyed, 70 percent have children over the age of 18, 35 percent have children under 18, and 12 percent have children who are both older and younger than 18. However, out of those with children under the age of 18, 58 percent do not have a will and 96 percent do not have a trust. McConnell claims that this can be concerning, especially considering that families with young children should be the ones thinking about these issues the most.
Estate planning is an important step to take in your life—especially if you have children or certain assets you don’t want to lose. Even though you can’t take it with you, drawing up a will or other estate documentation will help ensure your wishes are met. Our law firm covers DuPage County and other surrounding areas of Chicago. With over 30 years of legal and business experience, you can be assured we will do our utmost to safeguard your future.