Probate is a public affair and it allows for disputes between family members.Read More ›
Wills, trusts and powers of attorney protect your family and your wealth.Read More ›
We are not a document service company but rather a full-service law firm at a discount price.Read More ›
The Probate Package is our most popular package since it includes everything you need to avoid probate.
The Wills Package is ideal for someone whose assets are primarily in financial accounts and who does not own real estate.
The Estate Package is our most comprehensive package and is designed for more sophisticated and complex situations requiring more a individualized plan.
I founded Gugliuzza Law, P.C because I wanted to give my clients an alternative. In my ten years as a financial advisor I worked with numerous clients who needed estate planning but didn’t know where to turn. Traditional Chicago estate planning lawyers were intimidating and expensive. Do-it-yourself websites and books are confusing and risky. By founding the Law Offices of Marc L. Gugliuzza, P.C I hope to give my clients a quality estate plan at an affordable price.
Estate tax laws have changed dramatically in recent years. Currently the estate tax does not apply but for only a few very large estates. The concern for most people is ensuring that their hard-earned assets are distributed to the right people and with as little hassle and cost as possible. The main thing causing this concern is a thing known as probate. Any time someone dies owning an asset, there is a question as to who that asset now belongs. The role of the probate court is to answer that question for us since it is not always clear. In essence, the way to avoid probate to ensure that each one of your assets has a set of instructions attached to it so that there is no question as to who owns the asset when you die. Assigning instructions to a particular asset can be done in a number of different ways. The easiest way to do this is to simply add another person to the title of the account/asset. The problem here is for better or worse, that person is now a co-owner with you which means it will be subject to his or creditors and liability.
Another option is to assign a beneficiary which is the case with retirement accounts and life insurance. This is a good option but not every asset can easily have a beneficiary assigned to it. A good example is your house; there is no easy way to simply assign a beneficiary to it. In addition, you may want to have instructions on whether or not the house can be sold and how the proceeds will be used. This cannot be done with a simple beneficiary or transfer of death form.
The solution is to create a revocable living trust. As a separate legal entity, it can hold title to any or all of your assets such as your home, investments, and checking accounts. The benefits of a living trust are many. First of all, any assets in the trust will pass to the intended beneficiaries outside of probate. Therefore it will not be subject to the cost and delay of probate or be exposed to public scrutiny. In addition, a trust protects you in case you are ever incapacitated and unable to manage your financial affairs. Something a simple beneficiary form cannot do. Best of all, a revocable living trust can be easily amended so that it can change and adapt with you overtime as your needs and desires evolve.
Trusts are not new and in fact have been used for thousands of years. What is new is that modern technology and changes in the tax laws have drove down their costs so that they are more affordable for all people. At Gugliuzza Law, we strive to offer the highest quality estate plans at the lowest possible cost. We do this by utilizing technology when we can but still using well trained and experienced Chicago estate planning attorneys at every step of the process. While most attorneys charge by the hour, we feel that a flat-fee is appropriate for most clients. This way you know the cost up-front and you are not paying someone to simply sit around. We understand that this approach is not for everyone but for most people it is ideal. We work with all types of clients from someone who just bought their first house to a retired person who is simply looking to get their affairs in order. What they all have in common is a realization that life is not forever and regardless of age there things you need to have in place and decisions that need to be made. We can help and we can do it at cost that is both fair and affordable.
Please give Chicago estate planning attorney Marc L. Gugliuzza a call today and find out more about how a good estate plan can protect your family and your wealth.