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Posted on in Estate Planning

IL injury lawyerFrankly, everyone who is able to make a living will should have one. No one can predict the future - even young and healthy individuals can find themselves in a situation where they are at least temporarily incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for themselves. There are some individuals for whom having a living will is particularly important. If you are interested in creating a living will, you will want to work with a qualified attorney to make sure all your wishes are expressed accurately in the document.

When Should I Make a Living Will?

The short answer is, as soon as you have the opportunity. In the event that some unforeseen medical emergency happens and you are not able to communicate or make your own medical decisions, a living will tells healthcare providers in advance what your wishes are. Living wills can instruct doctors to withhold futile life-preserving care in the event of terminal illness, but can also include provisions about keeping you comfortable or your religious preferences. You can also use a healthcare power of attorney to designate the person you would like to make decisions for you if you become unable.

While it is best for everyone to have a living will in place, just in case, for some people it is particularly important. It is urgent that you complete a living will if you are facing any of these situations:

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Barrington estate planning attorneyBoth wills and trusts are important estate planning documents that can be used to govern what happens to your property after your death. Each comes with distinct advantages and disadvantages. It is best to speak to a qualified estate planning attorney who can help you design a comprehensive estate plan—which may include one or both documents—based on your unique situation.

What Are the Main Differences Between Wills and Trusts?

Wills and trusts are both legal documents that allow you to dictate what will happen to your property after you have died. However, there are significant differences.

For example, wills and trusts may begin to take effect at different times. A will has no legal effect until the person who created it has died. A trust, on the other hand, may have immediate legal significance depending on the type of trust used. In some cases, trusts can allow you to protect or begin distributing your assets even during your lifetime.

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Barrington estate planning lawyerManaging an estate takes a great deal of responsibility and good decision-making capabilities. This is true throughout the entire estate planning process; however, it becomes especially significant toward late adulthood. Unfortunately, not all individuals are capable of managing their estate effectively on their own. In these instances, it may be necessary to request and appoint guardianship over the estate owner. Through diligent research, effort, and collaboration with an experienced elder law attorney, successful guardianship is possible.

When is Estate Guardianship Necessary?

In Illinois, guardianship may be granted in instances where an individual, known as the ward, is not capable of making reasonable decisions regarding their financial or personal needs due to a physical, mental, or developmental disability. Under the Illinois Probate Act, the courts can modify the aspects of the appointed guardianship to meet the specific needs and capabilities of the ward. Guardianship is meant to safeguard individuals who cannot properly care for themselves or their property.

Court-appointed guardianship occurs most often in two situations: when a special needs child becomes an adult, or when an elderly individual loses decision-making abilities due to dementia. It is also possible for a guardian to be appointed for other concerns, including gambling habits, idleness, and excessive alcohol or drug use.

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barrington injury attorneyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that oversees workplace safety in the United States. The agency has designated construction sites as one of the most dangerous workplaces because of the high number of deaths and injuries of construction workers each year. The agency has even identified the top construction site hazards, referred to as the “Fatal Four,” that are responsible for the most construction site accident deaths. These four are falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between, compressed or crushed.

Hazardous Materials

The Fatal Four are also responsible for a high number of violations that OSHA issues each year against companies who fail to follow rules and regulations. Another OSHA top 10 danger that many construction workers are exposed to is hazardous materials. In 2020, OSHA hazardous material violations were one of the most common reasons companies were cited by the agency. The most frequent violations included:

  • Failure of employers to warn and train workers about using the hazardous materials

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barrington car crash lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer, the number of people on the road will rise, along with the number of traffic accidents and fatalities. According to information from the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of traffic fatalities that occur during the summer months is much higher than the number of traffic fatalities during the winter months. In April 2020, there were 2,520 reported traffic deaths, but May 2020 had 3,340 reported traffic deaths, which amounts to a nearly 36 percent increase in fatalities just one month apart. One of the best things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming one of those statistics is to practice safe driving techniques every time you are behind the wheel. Here are a couple of the most important safety tips to follow:

  • Always double-check your rearview mirrors. When the weather gets warmer, more people are going to be outside doing things. You should be sure to double-check both your side mirrors and rearview mirror before backing up or pulling out of your driveway to avoid colliding with any people.

  • Check your tires before hitting the road. If you are planning to travel or take a road trip, you should always check your tires before you go. Tires can take a beating during the winter months, so you should check to make sure that there is enough tread on your tires to help prevent skidding.

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