Why a Will is So Nice to Have – Give your assets to the relatives you choose

Have you ever wondered why people still go to the bother of writing a Will?  Well here is one example where it makes a lot of sense.

A few years ago, a woman named Jasmine passed away leaving an estate of 3 real estate parcels located in two states valued at around $800,000.  Jasmine  did not execute a Will or any other type of estate planning device.  Jasmine’s husband had already passed away.  However, the Jasmine did have two sons.   Both sons pre-deceased Jasmine.  So now the tough work begins in trying to find heirs.  Turns out one son died never married without any children.  No Heirs there.  The other child named Richard never married but allegedly was the father of a child.  However, at the time of the birth of the child, no paternity hearing was held and paternity was never determined.   Also, the son was not listed as the father on the birth certificate.   Richard never paid child support and no application for child support was ever made.  The mother allowed very little contact with the child and for the most part, Richard did not have much contact with the child and the extended family had only one visit with the child.

Quandary – The child without established paternity is now possibly the sole heir to the estate even though Jasmine had almost no contact with the child and the child made no effort to have a relationship with the child.  In this case Jasmines siblings, some of whom live on the parcels of real estate will not inherit if the heirship for the child is proven.

Solution for others:  A simple Will with a very basic provision could  have been written to clarify who inherited under the Will especially with regard to a child that no one is sure is an heir to the estate.  A well written Will might have honored the family that was tight knit as opposed to having all of the inheritance go to a child who was essentially never part of the family relationship and may not be an heir.

Usually a Will will name an executor to manage the estate and either make provisions for the testators children, descendants or specific people.  In families where unmarried couples exist or the paternity of children is questioned, specific people can be listed as beneficiaries eliminating the heirship problems discussed above.


Illinois power of attorney for healthcare 2015 form

Illinois power of attorney for healthcare 2015 form:

In 2015, Illinois has a new Statutory Power of Attorney for Healthcare form.  This new form is simpler and easier to fill out than its predecessor but also carries with it several pitfalls including making successor power of attorney nominations suggestive and not mandatory.  It also carries with it language in its directives that is unclear with regard to patients with dementia.  In short the new statutory form is the new “standard” form for Illinois and a great form to fill out when needed in a hurry.  However, having an attorney customize your Power of Attorney for Healthcare may be helpful.

For more information about how the new statute read, please visit:

  1. The Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care is codified at 755 ILCS 45/4-10. The statutory text can be accessed at
  2. The new health care power of attorney form is available as a downloadable PDF form by clicking on the link to the right:  IL Stat POA Health Care

Sources used in the drafting of this article:

Ed Finkel, Estate Planners Adopt and Adapt the New HCPOA Form, April 2015 • Volume 103 • Number 4 • Page 20; Illinois Bar Journal


asset protection ira

asset protection ira

Did you know that before April 15th every new year you can contribute to two iras at the same time? For example you can contribute $5000 to the 2012 Ira and $5000 to the 2013 Ira.

Did you know that retirement account contributions to an Ira or other retirement plans are exempt on bankruptcy. However these contributions must vest. 8 months after the contribution 60% has vested. 2 years after the contribution 100% is vested.

For retirement planning this is a great way to get caught up in a year where you have extra money available to invest.

For some one facing bankruptcy filing in the long term this can be a place to put savings and not lose them if above the wildcard exception. Be advised that no bankruptcy attorney will ever advise preferring contributions to retirement accounts over paying creditors but we can advise of the treatment and the applications that others have used.

illinois statutory power of attorney july 1 2011

Utah Road

Utah Road

illinois statutory power of attorney july 1 2011

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Effective July 1, 2011, the State of Illinois has a new Power of Attorney Form for Property.  The Power of Attorney for Property is a Statutory Form that provides the highest level of protection and power when seeking to be a power of attorney for property in Illinois.  Common uses for this Power of Attorney is to give a son or daughter the power to manage and elderly parent’s checking account.  Other uses include allowing your attorney to sign the seller’s documents in a residential real estate sale transaction.

The Power of Attorney has several pitfalls that one must be very careful about – first the principal – the person giving the power of attorney must be of sound mind.  Therefore, if your parent is already suffering from Dementia and does not have a sound mind, you are already too late to use the Power of Attorney and need to see an attorney about opening up a guardianship.  Other special provisions that usually require the advice of an attorney are “springing powers of attorney” and effective date issues.

New Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care Effective July 1, 2011

Attached is the New Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care Form.   This form is unedited and is exactly as formatted and presented in the Illinois Statute.

Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care Form Effective 7-1-2011

For assistance in filling out this form please contact NLO Nelson Law Office at 877-GO-GO-NLO or via email.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. CALL 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) FOR A FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION TODAY! SATURDAY APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE.