Spousal maintenance is a lump sum or ongoing payment that may be awarded as part of a divorce in order to support the spouse with a lower earning capacity. In Illinois, courts weigh several factors, including the income and the needs of each party to determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. If spousal maintenance is appropriate, courts generally apply statutory guidelines to determine the amount of spousal maintenance when the combined income of the parties is less than $500,000.00 per year. If the combined income is above this amount, courts are free to deviate from the guidelines.
A trust accounting must be made and properly reported to involved parties a minimum of once per year, with the exception of beneficiaries who have chosen to waive that right. If the trust is revocable, the trustee only needs to make a yearly accounting to the settlor, which is a person who opened the account. If the trust is irrevocable, the trustee needs to provide a yearly accounting to all of the beneficiaries, including current, contingent and remainder beneficiaries.
The amount of time it takes to settle a trust is dependent on the schedule of the court and complexity of each case. Motions practice and extensive discovery delay court proceedings. Consider using a mediator as an intermediary to attempt to limit the amount of time it takes for a trust contest to conclude. It is often cheaper and more efficient to come to an agreement outside of litigation.
The attorney’s fees of a trust contestant are the responsibility of the contestant, unless accentuating circumstances lead the court to rule otherwise. For example, the court reserves the right to impose payment of litigation or attorney’s fees to either party if it is proven that said individual breached their fiduciary duties to benefit themselves, causing harm to other parties with interests in the trust. If you are the trustee and have a duty to defend the trust, the court can order that the trust reimburse the trustee for any legal fees incurred in its defense.
Probate is a court case that oversees the process of collecting and disbursing the assets of an individual’s estate once he or she has passed away. If the deceased (known from here on as the decedent) had a valid will and named someone to manage his or her estate, the court will appoint this person as executor of the estate, as long as he or she is fit to take on the role. If the decedent did not have a will, the court will appoint an administrator to fulfill the responsibilities of an executor until the case comes to an end.