How Your Estate Plan Should Change After a Divorce

After a divorce, the legal relationship between the former spouses, necessitating a change in estate plans. Many individuals name their spouse to important roles and this work must be unwoven to protect a person's interests after divorce. Some aspects of the estate plan that may need to be changed include: The Will Spouses may have named each other the executor of each other's will. Additionally, the spouse may stand to inherit everything. Changes are usually required to the will to avoid … [Read more...]

Update Your Will and Avoid Probate Court

An updated will can protect assets that are meant to go to chosen family members and heirs when a person dies. Without a will, Illinois intestate succession laws will dictate through probate what happens to an individual’s business, savings, personal property, and possibly even minor children. If problems arise, a probate attorney can advise beneficiaries on how to settle the deceased person's estate. Updating a Last Will and Testament Statistics show that up to 70 percent of adults do not … [Read more...]

How Probate Works in Illinois

Probate is the legal process by which a will is “recognized” and the court gives the executor of the estate permission to proceed with enforcing the terms of the will. Most wills are probated with few problems however, if a beneficiary disputes the terms or an excluded person believes they were unjustly omitted, then the process can become substantially more expensive. Illinois codified its probate process (prior to the law, it existed as common or “judge-made” law) with the Probate Act of … [Read more...]

Review of the Probate Process

Probate is a legal process which formally recognizes a will and appoints an executor to administer the estate and implement the terms of the will. Probate, contrary to legal marketing gimmicks, is not the death knell of an estate. Probate is merely a legal process by which the court supervises the distribution of property to heirs. Overview of Probate Probate is a specialized legal proceeding in which the court reviews a will and recognizes it. During probate, the court appoints an executor to … [Read more...]

The Benefits of a Living Trust

Estate planning is a careful mixture of planning for present and future needs. People who put too much of their assets away in a trust may lose the ability to support their lifestyle. People who don’t plan sufficiently may end up paying significant sums in taxes. Living trusts are an estate planning tool that is critical to ensuring that future planning does not detract from present needs. Estate Planning Generally There are two tools that people use to plan their estate the will and the … [Read more...]

The Presumption of Revocation in Illinois

As the world progresses through the digital era, an increasing number of files and important documents are being copied and stored paperlessly. While this might seem like a more organized, safer and more efficient means of preserving paperwork, providing a digital copy may not be legally sufficient for estate documents- namely wills. In fact, an Illinois probate attorney cannot stress enough the importance of properly storing all original estate planning documents. … [Read more...]

Four Ways To Avoid Complicated Probate Hearings

In Illinois, parents have several options to transfer assets upon death without going through a lengthy probate process. A probate attorney will use one of four routes to protect property from long probate battles. … [Read more...]

The Evolution of Estate Tax

The Estate Tax has gone through numerous changes throughout the past 100 years. Rates of taxation have changed, along with attempts to repeal or reform the law. Probate lawyers must constantly follow changes to the laws to advise their clients on how to best plan their estates. … [Read more...]

Death and Debts

Dying with debt isn't something anyone wants. However, it's becoming a very common experience. The good news is that when we die our debts don't follow us. With more than 1 in 5 Americans now reporting they owe debts they won't be able to pay off in this lifetime, that can provide a little bit of solace to a solemn experience. … [Read more...]

What to Expect During Probate

If probate is necessary, it begins when the executor of a will files the will with the local circuit court. Once filed, the executor's attorney will send a notice of proceedings to the deceased's heirs. If an individual passes away without a will, the executor's attorney will send these individual's notice regardless of the fact they were not formally named within a will. Creditors The executor's attorney will also publish an announcement of the individual's death in a local newspaper. The … [Read more...]

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