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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Too Young To Have Anything?

Jon and Sue think they are too young to have an estate plan.  They plan to wait until after they get married and have children to do a Will and other estate planning. 

As we wrote last week, they actually already have an estate plan; they just may not know what it is.  Illinois law gives each of them the default ‘Will’ we wrote about last week.  So if Jon passes away, for example, that will leave his bitterly divorced parents and his brother to inherit all of Jon’s probate assets, with Sue, his fiancée for over two years, to get none.

Happily for Sue, there are some non-probate assets that she may receive.  She and Jon have a joint checking account for their household expenses, so she would receive that. 

They also bought a car together and put it in both names.  So that too would be Sue’s in the event of Jon’s death. 

But some personal property they bought together does not have title registered with the Secretary of State (or elsewhere), so it might be claimed by Jon’s probate estate.

For example, Sue and Jon planned how to pay to buy their 70-inch LCD television together.  To get a discount, Jon applied for a store credit card to buy it on, and they paid off the balance about a year later.  The receipt and the card were in Jon’s name, of course, which is potentially evidence that the TV is ‘his’ and not ‘theirs.’

Planning what happens in the event of your death is important, even when it may not seem obvious.  To learn about and control your own plan, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  ©2015 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


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