A comprehensive estate plan is designed to meet three goals: minimize taxes, minimize transfer costs, and assure that assets are transferred according to the donor’s objectives. However, estate planning involves much more than the transfer of assets at death. A comprehensive estate plan also addresses lifetime giving as well as planning in the event of the donor’s incapacity, including asset management, addressing substitute health care decision-making, and considering arrangements to pay for long-term care.that sells, while reinforcing the brand. Establish your identity, role and position thus creating your relationships.
We represent guardians of the estate and person. A guardian is appointed by the probate court to manage the assets of a minor who directly inherits money or receives a personal injury award, or of an adult who is adjudicated unable to handle his or her personal or financial affairs. We represent the guardian in court and assist with the preparation and filing of all court-required accountings, income tax returns, and other legal matters.
When a husband or wife must place their spouse in a long-term care facility, not only does the transition involve the pain of separation but also the stress of financing the cost of care. We will help you to accelerate eligibility for Medicaid to pay for long-term care. We will work with you to create a plan that helps to protect the elder individual from financial and physical abuse, and that assists with the legal and contractual issues that arise.
Clients who are veterans and spouses of such clients may be eligible for certain State or Federal Veteran’s Benefits, such as the enhanced pension sometimes called “Aid and Attendance,” which payments may enable the client to remain independent. We can educate the Veteran or the Veteran’s spouse regarding the various Veterans Benefits that are available. Ms. Chamberlin has been accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and as such is authorized to prepare and present claims for veterans benefits before the Department.
Our firm assists small business owners with the selection of the proper business entity, conducting a new or ongoing business venture, addressing business succession planning, and other issues.
Planning for Individuals with Disabilities
Our firm provides expertise in assisting individuals and their families to negotiate the complex rules of gifting to people who must rely on government benefits to maintain their financial well being. This area involves Social Security, Medicaid, special needs trusts, OBRA disability payback trusts, and others.
Federal Estate and Fiduciary Taxation
Our federal estate and fiduciary tax practice focuses on the preparation of gift, federal estate, Illinois estate, and fiduciary income tax returns. We also address tax issues that arise on the funding of trusts and the administration and termination of trusts and estates.
Consultants to Injury Attorneys
As special needs trust attorneys, our office can play a significant role in personal injury settlements. As a consultant to injury attorneys, we can help navigate the many issues related to ascertaining whether certain government programs such as Medicaid or Veteran’s Benefits, will be jeopardized by the settlement; determining and assessing the need to protect Medicare’s interests, including the creation of Medicare Set Aside Arrangements (MSAs); determining and compromising Medicare, Medicaid and other liens; and most importantly, planning, preparing and administering the special type of special needs trust (SNT) used in the context of settlement, sometimes called a (d)(4)(A) or (C) special needs trust or OBRA payback trust.
Our office is experienced in establishing Qualified Settlement Funds (QSFs) pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 468B. QSFs arose in the context of class action lawsuits, but their value in injury settlements has proven effective. First and foremost, the QSF buys time for the plaintiff to focus on post-settlement issues, particularly assessing the need for an OBRA payback trust to protect government benefits for the plaintiff, assessing federal estate tax planning strategies and evaluating Medicare’s future right to recovery.
QSFs are attractive to defendants since the QSF allows the defendants to remove themselves from the post-settlement process by paying directly to the QSF Administrator and also allowing the defendant a current year income tax deduction. Plaintiff’s attorney’s fees can be paid immediately from the QSF consistent with court order.
A QSF must be established by court order and all payments must be approved by court order. Payments to the QSF by the defendant are not deemed constructively received by the plaintiff, which allows the plaintiff to consider structured settlements on different terms than may have been proposed by the defendant.
Once all non-settlement issues have been resolved, the funds can be turned over to the plaintiff, paid into an OBRA payback trust or used to buy structured annuity.
Probate and Trust Administration
We represent Personal Representatives in their capacities as Executor, Trustee or Administrator, in carrying out the duties associated with the transfer of assets upon the death of a donor. This service includes collecting and valuing assets, ascertaining and paying debts, preparing estate and income tax returns, and distributing the property in accordance with the instructions of the donor as set forth in the will or trust. We are experienced in settling complex, as well as simple estates and trusts.