Kulinsky & Associates Ltd A Reputation For Excellence 2024-01-27T02:45:20Z http://www.kulinskylaw.com/feed/atom/ WordPress /wp-content/uploads/sites/1503020/2022/06/cropped-Kulinsky_and_Associates-site-icon-2-32x32.png On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[3 reasons to add powers of attorney to an estate plan]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49439 2024-01-27T02:45:20Z 2024-01-27T02:45:20Z Powers of attorney take effect when someone becomes incapacitated and loses their authority when that person recovers or dies. The following are some of the reasons that many people choose to add powers of attorney to their estate plans.

Protection against financial hardship

If someone falls and ends up in a coma because of a head injury, they might fail to pay their rent or their mortgage. The longer they remain unconscious, the greater the risk that they could face aggressive collection efforts, foreclosure or eviction. Financial powers of attorney give a trusted individual the authority to handle someone's financial obligations and resources until they improve enough to regain control over their finances.

Protection from improper medical care

Once someone turns 18, their parents no longer have any say in the medical care that they receive. If an individual does not have a spouse, there may not be anyone to speak up regarding their medical preferences. A medical power of attorney can name someone to make medical decisions on behalf of an individual. Combined with other documents that grant access to medical records and provide guidance about medical wishes, a medical power of attorney can help someone retain control over the treatment they receive, even when they are not able to communicate on their own behalf.

Protection from adult guardianship

Someone's overall health and cognitive abilities change while they age. In some cases, older adults and those with significant medical challenges can no longer take care of their personal affairs without support. Any family member so inclined or even a professional caregiver could seek guardianship over someone with Alzheimer's disease or other debilitating medical issues. Durable powers of attorney put in place before someone's decline can protect them from guardianship held by someone they may not trust. Those who create custom powers of attorney can provide very specific guidance for individuals they trust if they ever experience a personal emergency. Integrating the right documents into an estate plan can help protect someone from an uncertain future in this unpredictable world.]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[How does Illinois determine child support?]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49438 2023-11-28T00:07:22Z 2023-11-28T00:07:22Z Multiple factors influence support obligations in Illinois Determining child support responsibilities is relatively complex in Illinois. The courts look at several different factors. Obviously, the income of both parents will be relevant. Typically, the parent who earns more is more likely to pay child support unless they also have more time parenting the children. The breakdown of overnight parental responsibilities is also an important consideration that the courts review. The bigger the difference in income and parenting time, the larger the support obligations may become. Additionally, the courts also consider the number of children involved. If the parent paying child support has a pre-existing order for other children with a different parent, that can influence the amount of support ordered. The courts will also look at any exceptional costs that the parents must absorb and unusual expenses necessary for the children. Even the source of the children's health insurance coverage can affect how much support is appropriate. The state does provide a calculator to help people estimate support obligations. However, the final determination by the family courts can often deviate from what an automated calculator would estimate. Learning more about the rules for major family law matters in Illinois, like how to calculate child support, may help people be better advocates for themselves and their children during a divorce or separation. Seeking legal guidance can be very beneficial in this regard as well.]]> On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[3 financial benefits testators secure by creating a trust]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49437 2023-09-27T14:44:13Z 2023-09-27T14:44:13Z Avoiding estate taxes Those with large estates in Illinois may have to worry about a portion of their resources going to the state and the federal government after they die. If the assets included in someone's estate are worth $4 million or more, then estate taxes could be a concern. Those who move assets to a trust can reduce the value of their estates and can potentially lower the amount of estate taxes they owe or eliminate estate taxes entirely.

Qualifying for benefits later

Those who have too much property in their own names may not be able to qualify quickly for Medicaid coverage when they discover that they need skilled nursing support in their homes or when they need to move to a nursing home facility. Advance planning will reduce the value of an individual's personal holdings and make it easier and faster for them to qualify for Medicaid.

Preserving resources for the next generation

Many older adults live frugally even when they have enough savings to cover their cost-of-living expenses for the foreseeable future because they want to pass as much as possible to their children, grandchildren and other selected beneficiaries when they die. Creditor claims and Medicaid estate recovery efforts could consume most or even all of the property someone has in their name when they die. The person managing their estate will have a legal obligation to use resources to repay creditors, including Medicaid, before distributing any assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. Those who move certain property into a trust before they die and before creditors take legal action against them can potentially protect those resources from probate claims. Recognizing the financial motives that lead to people adding trust to their estate plans may help someone utilize the right tools for their intended legacy.]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[3 requirements for creating a valid will in Illinois]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49418 2023-07-27T00:35:47Z 2023-07-27T00:35:47Z The testator must be an adult of sound mind Having legal testamentary capacity is perhaps the most crucial requirement for the creation of a will. Testators usually need to be 18 years of age or older. They also need to have the intellectual ability to understand their financial circumstances and the legal ability to create a document outlining their personal wishes. Those who have developmental disabilities or acquired medical conditions, like dementia or brain injuries, may not be capable of drafting legally binding documents under Illinois law.

The will should be a written document

The availability of recording technology makes the idea of leaving an audio or video will somewhat appealing. Testators may view providing their last wishes in video format as a more personal approach than drafting a dry document. However, Illinois law is very clear that wills need to be written documents signed by the testator. Any audio or video wills should serve as a supplement to the written paperwork and not as the actual legal testament of someone's last wishes.

There should be two adult witnesses

The final requirement for a valid will in Illinois is that there are at least two credible adult witnesses who are there to see the testator sign the documents. Those witnesses will serve to affirm someone's testamentary capacity and the fact that fraud did not occur. Ideally, they will have no right to inheritance in the will, as that could be a conflict of interest that reduces their credibility. Sometimes, individuals attempting to draft testamentary documents on their own behalf make mistakes because they are unfamiliar with Illinois law. Understanding what the state requires from testators can make it easier to create valid documents that hold up even under scrutiny in Illinois probate courts.]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[Can parents move away with children after an Illinois divorce?]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49417 2023-05-26T10:09:09Z 2023-05-26T10:09:09Z There are limits on relocations Both state law and individual custody orders typically impose limitations on parents relocating with the children. Parenting plans may include provisions that require pre-approval for a move that would change the children's school district or take them a certain distance away from the other parent. State law only governs moves that take the children out of the state. Generally, a parent hoping to move with the children will need the approval of the other parents for the family courts, and they will need to provide written notice about the proposed move at least 60 days ahead of time. If parents can agree that the move would be beneficial for the children, then they can cooperate for an uncontested modification. If one parent wants to contest the desire of the other to leave the state or the area, they have an opportunity to respond to the courts and to protest the move. In that scenario, a family law judge will hear the case and make a determination about what would be in the best interests of the children. While keeping both parents actively involved is often the best option for the family, a judge may agree that a move would be beneficial if it would improve the family's finances or reconnect the children with a social support network. The decision that the judge makes will then determine whether the relocation is possible and what other adjustments the custody order requires. In some cases, parents may have to make major changes to their schedule and also to their support order when one needs to move far from the other. Seeking legal guidance an understanding what rules apply in a move-away scenario in Illinois may help those who share custody better advocate for their relationship with their children.  ]]> On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[3 places people find warning signs of hidden assets in a divorce]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49416 2023-03-27T21:14:43Z 2023-03-27T21:14:43Z 1. Tax papers and income records One of the easiest ways to spot hidden income and secret banking accounts involves reviewing household income and tax statements. If there is a discrepancy between what someone thought their spouse earned and their actual take-home pay, that gap might represent money set aside in a hidden account somewhere.

2. New apartments, storage units and safety deposit boxes

Sometimes, people physically move assets so that they won't be part of the inventory process when putting together a list of shared property. Someone planning to divorce me have started moving property out of a shared home months ago. They may have moved assets to an apartment where they will live after the force or into a safety deposit box or special storage unit they rented specifically for this purpose. Even if someone cannot locate the storage unit, receipts showing that one exists could be a warning sign that physical property is no longer present in the marital home.

3. The inventory of assets

One of the easiest ways to spot hidden assets is to thoroughly go over the report of personal property created by a spouse. They may completely omit certain resources, like retirement savings, or they might intentionally under-report what those assets are actually worth. People who spot warning signs of such problematic behavior can bring in the help they need to track down those assets and hold their spouse accountable. Finding hidden assets is only one of many necessary steps someone will have to complete to secure a fair outcome during divorce. Speaking with an experienced legal professional can help any individual who is navigating this process to better ensure that their interests and rights remain protected.  ]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[How do parents share custody during spring break and vacations?]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49415 2023-01-26T18:05:58Z 2023-01-26T18:05:58Z Winter break and spring vacation may be some of the best times of year for your children. Summer vacation may also be full of adventure, from sleepovers and trips to the pool to family vacations at amusement parks.

When you divorce or separate from the other parent of your children, you have to address those breaks from school and vacations in your parenting plan. It can be very difficult to get comfortable with the idea of your children having a vacation that you don't get to participate in, and parents may feel very strongly about spending those special days with the children as much as possible.

How should you address spring break in your parenting plan?

Many people alternate special events

Alternating who spends certain days with the children is arguably the fairest approach. One year, the children spend spring break with one parent and then spend the next year with the other. Other families with multiple children might have one parent spend spring break with certain children one year and the other children the next.

If the children are still young and in grade school, parents might even share the breaks, with them spending half with one parent and half with the other. Any of these solutions can work for a family depending on the children's ages and the work schedules of the parents. What is most important is that you agree to the terms in writing and try to come up with solutions that will work for your family so that you don't have to readjust them every year.

In some families, one parent takes most breaks

There are two different situations in which one parent may have most spring breaks and other school holidays with the children. The first would be when there is a very uneven parenting plan. Maybe the parents live very far apart, so one parent only gets to see the children occasionally. Longer breaks from school will typically be when travel would be most realistic in those situations, so the family may agree that the parent who has the children less will spend those vacations with the kids.

Other times, it could be that one parent has a demanding career and therefore cannot commit to spending school breaks with the children. Sometimes, the parent with more parenting time will be the one who has the ability to accommodate the holidays and the school vacations to actually be there for the children.

Ideally, you and the other parent can negotiate terms that you believe will work for your family outside of court so that you set the terms yourselves. If you truly cannot agree, then a judge will make that decision by setting the terms of your parenting plan.

Including holidays, school breaks and other special events and your parenting plan will help you more thoroughly plan for your shared custody arrangements.

On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[Tips For Helping Your Child Adjust To Divorce]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49272 2022-11-22T21:20:23Z 2022-11-22T21:20:23Z significantly reduce it. What can you do to minimize the instability divorce causes for your children?

Have a family discussion ahead of time

Although it may seem kindest to have the process already largely completed by the time you tell your children about the divorce, your children need a chance to adjust. Letting them know that one parent will move out soon is better than telling them someone has already left. That way, they have an opportunity to process their feelings with the entire family still in the home.

Make daily stability a priority

From how you schedule your shared parenting time to how each of you makes use of your legal decision-making authority, you can choose to prioritize stability and consistency for the children. Maintaining the same daily schedule, keeping them in the same school and otherwise actively seeking to preserve as much of their current lifestyle as possible will reduce the pain of this transition.

Offer them support and chances for expression

Children going through divorce have a lot of emotions to process. They may need to take up a sport where they can wear themselves out and get out of their heads. They may want to learn an instrument or take an art class so that they can find new ways to let go of their most painful feelings. They could also potentially benefit from counseling, either with the whole family present or one-on-one with a therapist. Giving them opportunities to express themselves and to heal will set them up for Success during this difficult time.

Let them know they are still your top priority

Children often feel guilty, as though they are the ones to blame for a divorce. They may worry that their parents resent them or blame them, which can be a very painful experience. If you let your child know that you are also going through a difficult time but that you want to be there for them and that they are not responsible for your divorce or your emotions, you can head off a lot of the most painful thoughts that children often have when their parents separate. Making yourself accessible and giving your child an opportunity to express themselves directly to you can help reinforce that you love them and will support them regardless of how your family changes. Keeping your children at the center of all of your custody matters will help you make choices that are better for them.  ]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[5 Steps Parents Can Take to Provide for Their Kids After Divorce]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49270 2022-09-27T17:50:56Z 2022-09-27T17:50:56Z work as a parenting team.

#1: Set communication standards

Two parents who communicate can make decisions regarding their children. This will make it harder for the kids to play one parent against the other to get what they want. Never use children as messengers because they deserve to be able to enjoy their childhood.

#2: Encourage family relationships

Children need to have meaningful relationships with family members from both sides of the family. Please encourage them to make good memories with your and your ex’s sides. These are the loved ones that can offer additional support for the children.

#3: Plan for the long-term

Think ahead to things like college and moving out on their own. While parents aren’t required to help with these expenses, it’s often beneficial to the children to have assistance.

#4: Set a clear budget

Having a budget in place helps to ensure that you can provide the financial support the children need. Remember that you’re going to have to live on one income. In the child custody agreement, make sure that child support is covered. Other areas to cover include education, medical care and extracurricular activities.

#5: Provide stability in all areas

Children need to have stability in all areas of their life. This means that both parents will have to work as a team. Being willing to adjust parenting time schedules to allow the children ample time with family, friends and beloved activities is beneficial. Backing up these areas financially is also necessary. Any parent going through a divorce should ensure they have the parenting plan set as quickly as possible. This can provide stability for everyone involved, but you must ensure that you put the children’s needs first.]]>
On Behalf of Kulinsky & Associates Ltd <![CDATA[Keeping the house may not be as beneficial as you think it is]]> http://www.kulinskylaw.com/?p=49268 2022-07-22T18:41:34Z 2022-07-22T18:41:34Z You will have double the responsibility Even if you already do a disproportionate amount of household maintenance, your obligations will increase significantly when you are the only person living at the home or the only adult. All of the cleaning, all of the repairs and all of the expenses will be your responsibility. If the practical aspects of solitary homeownership aren't concerning enough to give you pause, the financial obligations might be. You won't just need to make the same mortgage payments that are currently due. You will have to refinance and likely pay out a significant portion of the home's value to your ex. Some people can avoid dividing their home equity when they have other assets to balance out property division proceedings, but it is common to need to withdraw some equity when you refinance is part of a divorce. Not only will your principal balance and therefore your payments increase, but your interest rate is likely to go up as well, especially if you refinanced or purchased in the last few years when mortgage rates were at a historical low. You may be able to afford less home than you think you can.

You can receive your share of the home without living there

The equity you've built in the home during your marriage is subject to property division rules even if your ex is the one that stays in the house or the two of you sell the property. You can take your share of the home's value and use it to start over in a space that is not full of memories shared with your ex. Setting realistic property division goals will make it easier for you to prepare for your upcoming complex divorce proceedings.]]>