Wills & Trusts Vsam1040 Chicago Llc

Speaker 1:

Mike and?

Brianne Dunn:

Brianne.

Speaker 1:

Brianne. How are you doing today?

Brianne Dunn:

I'm well, how are you doing?

Speaker 1:

Okay. Good, thanks.

Mike Agruss :

Doing well, thanks. How are you?

Speaker 1:

Good. All right, thanks. Please introduce to your new customer and your new audience.

Brianne Dunn:

Sure. I'm Brianne Dunn. I work for Tannehill Law. We do real estate and estate planning law. And I'm here to talk about estate planning today.

Mike Agruss :

And I'm Mike Agruss, I'm the Managing Partner of Agruss Law Firm. And we work with Brie Dunn on estate planning and real estate, as well as other areas of law.

Speaker 1:

Yes. I believe everybody should know Mike right now. You're famous now.

Brianne Dunn:

The regular.

Speaker 1:

[foreign language 00:00:55]. Yes, I try to expand because trust, will, trust, power of attorney is very new. And a lot of people, they don't know what it is, and they don't understand because culturally we don't have that. Of course some people they handle properly. Like in my family, I haven't seen a will. And I don't know what the hell is a trust.

First of all, I thought trust, I understand, okay, you trust somebody so you transfer the property to you. But actually, it's not like that, or something like that. And power of attorney, I never heard in my life. That's why I try to explain, and get our people get used, and they understand will, trust, because that's very interesting. Of course everybody working so you should have some properties. So the first question of today is can you remind us estate plan is? And why should someone have an estate plan? What it is, estate?

Brianne Dunn:

Yeah. Let's start with what it is and then we'll go from there. So an estate plan is a legal mechanism that gives an individual the ability to give direction to their assets. And what I mean by this is their assets are their property, their possessions, their accounts. And the way that they would do this is they would give them direction to whom they want, when they want, in the increments or the amount that they want, typically after death. That's part one.

Speaker 1:

Yes, okay. Usually, lawyer Mike, he will ask the question. But today, I pulled the first question. I'm sorry.

Mike Agruss :

No, that's all right. You asked the most important question of the day.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes. Thank you, Mike. Okay. [ foreign language 00:03:49]. Yes, thank you. Next one.

Brianne Dunn:

The second part of an estate plan that sometimes gets overlooked are the legal documents that allow an individual to assign someone the ability to make decisions on their behalf, both in financial situations and in medical situations if they become incapacitated. We typically refer to those documents as the power of attorney document.

Speaker 1:

Okay. [ foreign language 00:05:25]. Yes, please.

Brianne Dunn:

And why these are important is because if you have an estate plan, you get to put your wishes, what you want to happen both to your estate, again, that's your property, your things, your accounts, as well as your being if something should happen to you during life. If you don't have one, unfortunately then what will happen is they're going to use Illinois state law to give direction to those things. And sometimes what you want doesn't always align with what the state law is. So you want to take the power to do what you want as opposed to leaving it to state law.

Speaker 1:

Yes, thank you. [ foreign language 00:07:21]. Yes, thank you so much.

Brianne Dunn:

Could I add two points to that?

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Brianne Dunn:

So just the importance of this really is making sure that you have your wishes observed. So from a medical standpoint, perhaps you know exactly what you want to happen in a medical situation, whether you want your life to carry on through machines or you don't. Those are a part of that power of attorney. And so if you have specific wishes, you would want to use that power of attorney to make sure that those are honored. Otherwise, again, it goes back to what the state law holds for those situations.

Speaker 1:

Wow! That's very important, right?

Mike Agruss :

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Because that's your personal life, right? So you need power of attorney to help you to decide what's going on.

Brianne Dunn:

Yes, exactly.

Speaker 1:

Okay. [ foreign language 00:09:19]. Yes, thank you so much. Okay. And please, Mike.

Mike Agruss :

Sure. And so the next question I wanted to ask you, and I think this is most appropriate, especially when you're dealing with estate law and there's documents, there's companies online, where people think, "I can do this myself. I'm going to go search how to create a will, how to create a trust." There's legal zoom. There's all these other companies where people might think, "You know what? I can do this myself and maybe save some money." So what would you tell the viewers who are contemplating just doing it on their own as opposed to hiring you or Melissa at Tannehill Law to handle their estate documents?

Brianne Dunn:

Yeah, I don't advise that. I mean, that's the short answer. Don't do that.

Mike Agruss :

This is not a DIY project.

Brianne Dunn:

Do not do this on your own. And I can explain why if you want me to.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Brianne Dunn:

Okay. Those documents online are often generic, they're broad. They're not fact specific. They're not state specific. So you spend your life building your legacy. So you can almost interchange your estate with your legacy. This is what you're building, and you probably hope to give either to others or other entities. But you spend your life building it. You want to make sure that it is going where you think it's going, when you think it's going there. And a lot of these documents online do not allow for that. They're very broad. They do not account for very specific situations. Oftentimes, they don't have the effective language to do what you want to do. So you don't want to leave your legacy to chance.

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right. Thank you. [ foreign language 00:12:15]. Where does this go? Okay. [ foreign language 00:13:05]. Yes, thank you.

Mike Agruss :

And Brie, I think you'd be able to explain this well to people too, that even if they don't want to get into a complicated trust, just simply having a basic will, having a basic power of attorney, these are things that are not expensive for people to hire you to do, can save so much headache in the long run, right?

Brianne Dunn:

That's correct. So you can have a very basic will. It's very affordable, and it allows you to give, again, that direction. You get to set the path for your things to whom you want, and when you want, again, in the amounts that you want. And when you do that, you get to control the route of probate if you do do a will. Otherwise, what would happen is you go through probate intestate. And what that means is if you don't have a will and you don't give that direction, then again, it goes to state law. And it's going to go only in that direction. And the other problem with that is it is extremely timely. It can take a very long time for the courts to figure out what you have, and then to make sure that they go through state law direction. And it can also be additionally costly.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. [ foreign language 00:15:02]. Yes, thank you.

Mike Agruss :

So in Illinois, we were just talking about if you die without a will or a trust, what happens in Illinois? And if you can give some of the viewers examples so they have a concrete example of what would happen in the situation. And then I think it'll also explain the importance of why you need to do this before you pass away. So in Illinois, if you die without a will or a trust, what specifically happens?

Brianne Dunn:

Yeah. So if you die in way without a will or a trust, essentially without an estate plan, you are said to have died, the legal term is, intestate. What that then means is that the state law is going to govern how your estate is distributed. And it's quite a process, unfortunately. So the court has to go through a process to figure out what is your estate? Whereas in a will, you have it outlined. That would expedite it, that would make it faster. They also have to open up a period of time that would allow for creditors to make a claim to your estate if they have one, if they have a right to it. And that period of time can be much longer under this, without a will or without having an attorney working you through probate.

Obviously, they would then distribute your estate according to state law. So again, if you had other entities that you were hoping to give your estate to, that won't happen necessarily. It's going to just be specifically under the Illinois probate act. And so the two things that are really important to know, that I think people don't realize, is if you go under probate intestate, so without a will or a trust, the length of time it takes to get through that process is long. And it can be very detrimental. It can take a very long time for your estate to get distributed.

Additionally then, it's costly. So you have to pay for essentially that court process. You have to pay for all of those pieces. And that comes out of the estate. And so those are the pieces that I think a lot of us hope to avoid, and we hope to avoid that long time frame and those costs.

Mike Agruss :

And what a terrible time too. You're dealing with where someone passes away-

Brianne Dunn:

That's exactly right.

Mike Agruss :

Their personal belongings, their personal effects. And then all of a sudden you have the state stepping in, and it's just it's one more massive headache that draws something out during such an awful time to begin with that it makes so much sense to just even hire you to just have a basic will.

Brianne Dunn:

That's right.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Right, thank you. [ foreign language 00:19:08]. Thank you.

Brianne Dunn:

Just to reiterate or to maybe put emphasis on a point that I think Mike brilliantly pointed out, a lot of times people, when they think about estate planning, one of the big mechanisms, a part of it, or one of the big, I should say, reasons for it is they're trying to lessen the burden unto those who are left dealing with after they pass. And so if you have a plan, those who are handling your death have a lot less of a burden to carry on through the courts and things like that. And so this is a really big piece that oftentimes people say, "Okay. I'm going to make my plan so that that way I don't pass this burden onto my family to figure out for sometimes years on end."

Mike Agruss :

Right. So you're not necessarily ... I mean, do it for yourself. But even if you're not doing it for yourself, do it for everyone else around you.

Brianne Dunn:

It's often for your family or for whoever is going to take this on. You are simplifying it and lessening the burden. And again, at a time that is usually ... It can be a very sad time. And so to lessen that burden in that time can be a really nice gift to give.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Okay, thank you. [ foreign language 00:22:24]. Yes, thank you. We will take a shot break, and we're coming back. [ foreign language 00:00:23:48].

Speaker 4:

[ foreign language 00:23:55].

Speaker 5:

[ foreign language 00:25:26].

Speaker 1:

[ foreign language 00:26:49], Tannehill Law, right? Thank you very much for staying tuned with us. [ foreign language 00:27:07]. Please Mike, what is the next question?

Mike Agruss :

Sure. So I think most of the viewers are probably wondering how much does this cost. So if we can talk about what you charge for an initial consultation, what it costs to do a will, what it cost to do a trust, and then the power of attorney documents. And if we can go step by step, so the viewers understand what they're getting. We've explained why it's so important. So now let's talk about the cost.

Brianne Dunn:

Absolutely. So our will and trust documents are comprehensive. They do include the power of attorney documents that we talked about earlier. You can do that separately, but I just want to make sure that people know that if you do a will or if you do a trust, all of that is encompass within them.

So we have $150 consultation fee, which will be applied to any of those, whichever you choose to do. If you do a will or a trust or simple power of attorney, that will be applied in there. So essentially it's deducted from those things. The reason we have that consultation is because usually it will be about a half hour. We're going to go through and talk through what your needs are, and make sure we have the right tools.

Speaker 1:

Right, okay. [ foreign language 00:28:20]. Yes, thank you. Please, Mike.

Brianne Dunn:

And did you ... Forgive me. You went through both the cost of a will and a trust?

Speaker 1:

Yes. I just mentioned about the will is up to 1,000, and the trust between 2,700 up to 3,500.

Brianne Dunn:

Do you want me to explain the difference in those or?

Speaker 1:

Oh, sure. Yes.

Brianne Dunn:

Is that okay?

Speaker 1:

Yes, sure.

Brianne Dunn:

All right. So the will, as mentioned, is between 800 and 1,000. And again, that covers all of those the power of attorney documents. There's also additional documents that go along with the power of attorney documents, like a HIPAA authorization, just the forms that you need to ensure that you can make those decisions during life if you're incapacitated, as well as your direction for afterlife. Do you want to do that, and then I'll explain the trust?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, sure. Okay. [ foreign language 00:31:19]. Please, next one.

Brianne Dunn:

The trust then, as you noted, is the 2,750 to 3,500. It is more expensive because it's a different process. So it's going to be, one, drafting the trust, which is similar to the will. But then you're going to fund it. And oftentimes there's several more documents that go into that process. And just I think we're going to get into this in just a moment. But the difference, the big difference, between a will and a trust, and sort of the rationale as to use one or the other, is that the trust avoids probate.

Speaker 1:

Okay. All right, thank you. [ foreign language 00:32:53]. Yes.

Brianne Dunn:

Thank you.

Mike Agruss :

So we've talked a lot about probate today. So let's explain what is probate, and how do you avoid it in Illinois?

Brianne Dunn:

Yes, okay. So probate is that court process where the court is going to oversee the distribution of your assets. Now, we did talk about if you die intestate, that process is much longer than if you have a will and you give that direction in order to that process. So you should know if you do have a will, you're going to go through probate, which is that court supervision of the distribution.

Speaker 1:

Okay, thank you. [ foreign language 00:35:26]. Yes.

Brianne Dunn:

And so if you want to avoid that process, that court process of probate, then you would want to go with the mechanism of a trust, or a trust with a will, which we'll get into. But trust is the key. The reason is a trust is a mechanism that is essentially going to own all of your assets. And so that when you pass, that trust is still alive, owning those assets. And so it does not have to go to probate. The instructions for the trust just kick in.

Speaker 1:

Yes, okay. [ foreign language 00:37:13]. Yes, thank you.

Mike Agruss :

What are three of the most important things someone should consider when they're thinking about estate planning?

Brianne Dunn:

Yeah. So there's a number of things to consider. I like to think number one is plan backwards. So what do you need right now? And then if you want to think sort of in increments, what do you want long term? But generally, most people will say, "Okay. At least, at the very least, I need to make sure that I am covered if something happens to me." So those power of attorney documents we talked about, just making sure that your medical wishes are fulfilled in the way that you want. On a bigger scale, if you are looking at a place where you want to protect your assets and give direction to them, and you want to do that now, then you can do that now. I mean, I think the first step is just where are you right now? And let's plan backwards from where you want to be.

Speaker 1:

Right. [ foreign language 00:39:45]. Yes.

Brianne Dunn:

And just to add to that, so if you have a family, or perhaps if you're a bit older or have medical complications, those might be some things that might make you think a little bit, "Okay. Let's get a plan in place so that, again, I'm not leaving that burden or giving added challenge to those who are left."

Speaker 1:

Yes. [ foreign language 00:40:56]. Yes.

Brianne Dunn:

Oh, go ahead.

Mike Agruss :

I was going to say when you meet with clients for the first time, what are some top questions that you ask them? And if viewers are watching, what would you want them to prepare for that first meeting?

Brianne Dunn:

Yeah. So we just like to get an understanding of your current situation. And they're all correct. It doesn't matter if you're at the very beginning and you're single, or you have a family, and maybe even grandchildren, and great grandchildren. You could have no property or very little property or a lot. We just want to get a sense of where you are at. And then we also want to get a sense of your goals. Again, what are you planning backwards from? What do you want for your loved ones when you pass? And kind of what will that process look like? So those are the initial ... Just gaining that sense of where you're at right now, and then also where you're hoping to be.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you. [ foreign language 00:43:00]. Yes, thank you.

Brianne Dunn:

And if I may add, in that conversation, and this is also just something to be mindful of, we do want to get your thoughts on probate. Are you okay with it? If you're okay with probate, then going through the process of a will would be the way to go if that will streamline or quicken the probate process. For those who want to avoid it completely, then we would go through the route of a trust. And we would talk about how to do that effectively. So that's just another piece we would ask about, just your comfort ability with probate.

Speaker 1:

Okay, yes. [ foreign language 00:44:56]. The time is almost up right now. Okay. We have a few more minutes. Please go for the last question.

Mike Agruss :

Sure. So the last question today is hopefully after watching the show, people come to you, they do what they should be doing for estate plan. And once that's done, and someone either has a will or a trust, they've got their power of attorney, all of the documents in place, are they done for life or are these things that you want to update? And if so, what milestone would happen where you would think to yourself, "Maybe I should update my estate documents."?

Brianne Dunn:

Yes. So the short answer is these are going to be updated over time. They are not a one and done kind of a thing. I think sometimes people think, "Oh! We got our will done. We're done." That is not the case. And that's also not the case with the trust. I can elaborate.

So essentially, as your life changes, your will and/or your trust should change as well. Have you moved? Do you have new property? Have you had children or do you have more children? Are there new individuals that you want to add into your estate plan? So all of those big life changes should be incorporated into your documents. It doesn't have to be every year. But certainly when those milestones happen, that's a really good time to come back to update them and just make sure that they are all encompassing of your estate.

Mike Agruss :

Or if someone gets divorced, they get remarried, those are-

Brianne Dunn:

Absolutely.

Mike Agruss :

I would imagine that would be a time where you need to update things.

Brianne Dunn:

And certainly. And if you have a blended family. You maybe married somebody that has children, you have children. How do you want to go about your assets, the distribution? Absolutely. All those life changes, you want to encapsulate in those documents.

Speaker 1:

Okay, thank you. [ foreign language 00:47:45]. The time is up right now. We do appreciate your time and your patience to explain the estate law. And I believe we learned a lot from your expertise here. Hopefully, we have more time next time, we learn more, something new, every single day. Before we say goodbye, please say goodbye to your new audience.

Brianne Dunn:

Thank you. I'm so honored to be here. Thank you so much. I appreciate the opportunity.

Mike Agruss :

Yeah. Thanks for coming on. I'm Mike Agruss again, managing partner at Agruss Law Firm. Brie Dunn, here talking about estate law and helping answer all of our questions about wills and trusts.

Speaker 1:

All right. Thanks so much for your coming through our program, and hopefully see you next time. Thank you. Have a good day. [ foreign language 00:50:59]. Goodbye.

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