These Six Types of Property Won’t Need to Go through Probate

Non-probate assets are types of property that won't have to go through the probate process after a person dies, and will instead pass directly to the intended heirs shortly after death. Avoiding probate saves time and money, but non-probate property can sometimes pass to unintended beneficiaries and creditors. Careful estate planning is essential to avoid probate and still protect assets from transferring into the wrong hands. Which Assets Are Not Generally Subject to Probate? Transfer or … [Read more...]

Estate Planning Essentials for Blended Families

When Illinoisans remarry, they should review their estate planning documents to ensure that their assets pass to their intended beneficiaries after they die. Couples who have remarried should discuss how they want their assets to be divided to provide for blended family members from all marriages. They should review and update their existing wills, trusts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and titles to make certain that their assets won't be passed to ex-spouses. An estate planning … [Read more...]

When a Spouse is Excluded from a Will in Illinois

In general, a testator in Illinois can disinherit anyone – including a spouse. In fact, Illinois is one of the few states that allow married people to use estate planning techniques to ensure there is no eligible property left for surviving spouses claiming renunciation shares. Under Illinois law, however, excluded spouses may still be able to claim a portion of the probate estate. Prenuptial Agreements Take Precedence When the terms of a prenuptial agreement conflict with a will in Illinois, … [Read more...]

Bits of Wisdom from an Estate Planning Attorney

Probate is easy to avoid with adequate planning and foresight. Transferring assets, designating beneficiaries and taking advantage of a few estate planning tools can help ensure that people avoid probate. Probate Can Be a Long, Expensive Process Probate is a legal process that decides how a person's assets are to be distributed upon death. Although probate is often a routine procedure, it can become expensive and drawn out if putative heirs (people who were excluded or under-included) contest … [Read more...]

Deed Restrictions Can Ruin Your Dream Home

Deed restrictions can have a big impact on purchasing or building a new home, selling an existing home, renovations, and even how a property is used. Since deed restrictions are attached to the land, they can continue to cause problems for both current and future owners of a property for many years. What is a Deed Restriction? Deed restrictions, or restrictive covenants, are provisions in a property deed that place limits on the use of the property and/or building on the property. Such … [Read more...]

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