Consumer Information

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Demystifying the Estate Planning Process - Presentation for Consumers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is probate?
What property is subject to probate?
What is a Will?
What are the requirements to make a Will?
What is an executor?
What are the duties of an executor?
What happens when a person dies without a Will?
What is intestacy? 
Who can prepare a Will?
What is a trust?
Who are the parties to a trust?
What is a trustee? 
What are the duties of a trustee?
What is the difference between an executor and a trustee?
What is the difference between a revocable and an irrevocable trust?
What are some of the types of trusts? 
When is a trust helpful?
What is a guardian?
What are the differences between a guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate?
What are the duties of a guardian?
What are standby guardians, short-term guardians and temporary guardians? 
What are the different ways that property can be owned by more than one person
What is Joint Tenancy?
What is Tenancy by the Entirety?
What is Tenancy in Common?
How are the different forms of ownership created?
What are Payable on Death (POD) and Transfer on Death (TOD) accounts? What is a Transfer on Death Instrument for residential real estate?
What is a Power of Attorney? What are the types of Powers of Attorney?
Who should act as Agent under a Power of Attorney?
What is a Power of Attorney for Property? 
How much authority is given to the agent under a Power of Attorney for Property?
Are there any requirements for signing a Power of Attorney for Property?
What is a Power of Attorney for Health Care? 
What powers are granted to an agent under a Power of Attorney for Health Care?
What authority does an agent under a Power of Attorney for Health Care have regarding life-sustaining treatments? 
When does a Power of Attorney for Health Care become effective?
Who can act as agent under a Power of Attorney for Health Care? 
Are there any requirements for signing a Power of Attorney for Health Care? 
What is the difference between a Living Will and a Power of Attorney for Health Care?
Do I need a Living Will if I have a Power of Attorney for Health Care?
What is an organ donation? How do I make an organ donation? 
Why is life insurance part of the estate planning process? 
What are the different types of life insurance?
Do states impose death taxes? How does a state death tax differ from the federal estate tax? 
What is the federal gift tax? 
What is the annual gift exclusion? 
I’ve heard the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “Defense of Marriage Act.
My same-sex spouse and I are planning to get married! Do we still need estate planning?
What happens if I travel from Illinois to another state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages?