1.Must every estate go through probate?
2.Do I need an Attorney to Probate a deceased relative’s estate?
3.What is a bond in probate?
4.What happens when a deceased relative owns Real Estate in multiple states?
5.What should I do if a friend or family member dies and I am named executor in their Will?
In Illinois, in order to become the legal guardian for an adult, you must be appointed by the court through a guardianship proceeding. A guardian may be appointed for anyone who is unable to make or communicate responsible personal or financial decisions due to mental illness, deterioration or disability; physical incapacity; or "gambling, idleness, debauchery, or excessive use of intoxicants or drugs."
The first step in becoming a guardian is to obtain a report certifying that the individual for whom guardianship is sought suffers from one of these conditions. The report must be filled out and executed by an expert, such as a physician. Form versions of this report can be downloaded from most probate court websites.
Illinois Probate: What is the difference between independent administration and supervised administration?
The purpose of this article is to explain the difference between supervised administration and independent administration for probate cases in Illinois. For some foundational information about the probate process, please check out the "Further Reading" section below.
Probate cases can be handled in one of two ways: Supervised Administration and Independent Administration. Supervised Administration requires the executor or administrator of the estate to seek court approval for most decisions that he or she makes. Independent Administration, on the other hand allows the executor to potentially appear in court only twice: once at the opening of the probate estate, in order to be appointed executor; and a second time at the closing of the estate in order to file his or her final report with the court, close the case, and be discharged as executor.
"Why should I have a Healthcare Power of Attorney?" In this Learn About Law podcast & videoblog, Illinois estate planning attorney attorney Kevin O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law discusses how to use Powers of Attorney to avoid costly guardianship proceedings in the case of mental competency.
The purpose of this article is to explain the probate process. Probate is a court case wherein the probate court oversees the administration of an estate in order to ensure proper payment to heirs and creditors. If probate is necessary, your attorney will follow these steps to administer the estate through the probate court. The probate process is slightly different depending on whether the decedent had a will in place at the time of death. If there is a will in place, the estate is called a Testate Estate. If the decedent died without a will, the estate is called an Intestate Estate. This article will deal with probate administration of a Testate Estate. In a future article, I will address the differences between administering a Testate Estate and an Intestate Estate, so please stay tuned.
In this episode of the Learn About Law podcast & videoblog, Kevin O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law discusses when probate is necessary in order to administer the estate of a deceased individual. Probate is typically necessary in Illinois when the decedent owns any real estate or more than $100,000.00 of non-real-estate assets outside of a trust. If probate is necessary, then the executor of the estate must receive Letters of Office from the probate court in order to collect the assets of the estate for the payment of creditors and heirs or legatees. If probate is not necessary, then the executor or trustee can administer the estate immediately with the use of a small estate affidavit.
In deciding which attorney to hire, legal skills and experience are prerequisites. The top 3 qualities that set good attorneys apart from mediocre ones, which you can assess early in the relationship are:
What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee When Selling Real Estate? | Illinois Trust Administration
If you are a trustee responsible for the administration of a trust after the passing of a loved one, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust, within the limitations and instructions laid out by the trust document.
If a trust is in place and estate planning has been done properly prior to the death of the grantor of the trust, it should not be necessary to open a probate estate. However, if the beneficiaries disagree with the actions of the trustee, the beneficiaries may open a probate case and seek to make the trustee personally liable for mismanaged assets of the estate.
In a recent article, we explained how Special Needs Trusts, also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts, can be used to allow individuals with disabilities to earn income, accumulate wealth, receive gifts and inheritances, and maintain a quality lifestyle while still qualifying for government benefits.
As explained in that article, assets held by a Special Needs Trust cannot be used on "shelter" or groceries without reducing the amount of SSI benefits that the beneficiary of the trust is entitled to receive.
This article will give you a basic overview of what goes into the process of administering an estate. Before taking any steps in administering the estate, you should consult with your attorney.
This article will not deal with the work that the attorney performs in handling the probate estate, but rather will focus on the role of the Executor or Trustee of the estate. To learn more about how to prevent your own estate from going to probate, you can read this article: Estate Planning Goals: Probate Avoidance.
This article is the last a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. In this Article we will explain how to use Life Estates and Irrevocable Trusts to make yourself eligible for Medicaid assistance for long-term care without losing your assets and to prevent Medicaid from seizing your assets upon your death.
Assisted living care can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, if you qualify for Medicaid, the government will foot the bill for this care. Unfortunately, in order to qualify for Medicaid, you must show that you have already expended most or all of your assets. You cannot qualify for Medicaid unless you have less than $14,400.00 in countable resources.
When a minor inherits property in Illinois, how that property will be dealt with depends on whether the decedent (the person from whom the property is inherited) dies with a will, with a trust, or without either (intestate). In this article, we will explain the results of the different potential scenarios.
1. Decedent dies intestate (without a will or trust)
In the absence of a will or trust, the decedent’s estate will go through probate. The probate court will appoint a guardian of the minor child’s estate. This person will be responsible for managing the inherited assets of the minor until the minor reaches age 18, at which point the remaining assets will be paid out to the child. Theguardian of the estate will have the duty to preserve as much of the inheritance as possible for distribution to the child when the child reaches the age of majority. He or she will be required to report periodically to the probate court until the assets are finally distributed and seek court approval for certain types of transfers. The guardian of the estate may be a different individual than the guardian of the person (the individual with custody over the guardian). However, in the absence of a will or trust naming a specific person as the guardian of the estate, the guardian of the person will often be named the guardian of the estate. This is undesirable for divorcees who do not necessarily want their ex-spouse, who will likely be the custodial parent and guardian of the person, to have control of their property.
Illinois Law Blog: Learn About Law
O’Flaherty Law is based in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Naperville, Illinois. Our team has expertise in many areas of law including but not limited to bankruptcy law, business & corporate representation, civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, divorce & family law, immigration; probate, guardianship & elder law; and real estate law. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (630)324-6666.
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