Category: Probate

The Importance of Proper Estate Appraisals

The Importance of Proper Estate Appraisals

Executors have the most important role in the probate process. They are responsible for everything from filing the will and death certificate and opening the probate process, through the final order and distribution of assets. In fact, they have legal duties to the estate and can be held personally liable if they breach these duties.  … Read more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

When preparing a will, one of the big decisions is who to appoint as executor. This is the person or firm that you are putting in charge of taking your estate through a probate court. If you pass away without a will, an administrator is appointed in this role. Why is choosing this representative such  … Read more

Placing Conditions in Trust Funds

Placing Conditions in Trust Funds

There are many reasons to establish trusts when estate planning. One common reason is that the individual planning their estate has doubts about the emotional maturity or financial responsibility of their beneficiaries. This is particularly the case when it comes to children who are minors or young adults. It is difficult to believe that your  … Read more

Understanding Estate Taxes in Illinois

Planning for federal estate taxes with a large estate can be incredibly challenging. Attorneys spend years learning and mastering the various approaches to helping clients maximize their estates and leveraging tax advantages. This is so that their loved ones can benefit as much as possible. The state of Illinois adds an additional layer to this  … Read more

Establishing a Trust for Your Child

We love our kids and would do nearly anything for them. We want to keep them safe and to provide for them. However, they can drive us absolutely crazy sometimes because they are prone to making terrible decisions. For example, when your pre-teen rang up a $300 bill making in-app purchases playing “Pokemon Go.” Or  … Read more

The Duties of an Executor

When a person dies with a will, the will designates an executor. This is a person trusted by the deceased to take all of the legal steps necessary to make sure that the will is carried out. Sometimes, this person knows that they will be the executor, and sometimes it comes as a complete surprise.  … Read more

The Simplified Probate Process

Many people simply do not leave behind sizeable estates when they pass away. In fact, so many people leave “small” estates behind that if probate courts had to fully flesh out these cases, the entire probate system would collapse with completely unmanageable dockets. The Illinois state legislature recognized this, as well as the fact that  … Read more

The Benefits of Mediation in a Probate Proceeding

  Probate proceedings are often an emotional, tedious, and expensive process. You may be locked into a legal battle with another family member, which is painful enough as it is. Unfortunately, the problem may be compounded by court delays and growing expenses related to litigation as you approach trial. In addition, probate courts, like most  … Read more

How Not To Plan Your Estate

  Estate planning combines several things that people dread, in no particular order: (1) accounting for ALL of your money, assets, and debts; (2) facing your own mortality; and (3) sitting for a prolonged amount of time with a lawyer. In all seriousness, there are some proven mistakes that I have seen over the years  … Read more