Leaving Inheritance to a Caregiver? Make Sure You Know Illinois Law
For elderly individuals and those in poor health, caregivers can be valuable sources of assistance, compassion, and support. Private nurses and other in-home healthcare workers assist with meals, hygiene, everyday tasks, and medical needs, providing crucial help to those in need. Understandably, many people come to think of paid caregivers as much more than just hired helpers—they become like family.
If you are considering leaving assets to a caregiver through your will, make sure you understand how Illinois estate planning laws address these types of gifts.
Illinois Law Regarding Inheritance to Non-Related Caregivers
It is not uncommon for an individual to leave money or property to non-relatives through their estate plans. You may have several people in your life who are like family to you but are not blood relatives. However, if you plan to leave an inheritance to a non-relative caregiver, you need to be aware of certain rules implemented by Illinois lawmakers.
In 2015, the Illinois Probate Act was amended to place restrictions on how much money or property an individual can leave to a non-relative caregiver. These restrictions are in place to prevent financial exploitation of the elderly and those in poor health, a serious issue frequently seen in Illinois.
Under the new law, a property transfer of $20,000 or more is presumed to be fraudulent during a will contest. In other words, courts assume that property transfers of $20,000 or more to a caregiver are a result of undue influence or fraud if the will is challenged in court.
For example, say you leave a fine art collection worth $25,000 to the home healthcare worker who has cared for you during the past few years. If another beneficiary, such as an adult child, challenges the validity of your will in court, the court will assume that your gift to the caregiver was not genuine.
Because of this law, it is important for anyone planning to leave an inheritance to a caregiver to work with an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you draft a will that complies with Illinois law and is less likely to be challenged in court.
Our Naperville Estate Planning Lawyers Can Provide the Help and Support You Need
If you are drafting your last will and testament, modifying your will, or simply have questions about the estate planning process, do not hesitate to reach out to our skilled Naperville estate planning attorneys.
At the Gierach Law Firm, we know that estate planning is complex and emotionally taxing, and we are prepared to guide you through the entire process. Call our office at 630-756-1160 and set up an initial consultation today.
Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.