Probate Attorney Elgin IL

Estate Planning – Probate Attorney Elgin IL

Probate and Trust Administration

Trust administration and probate are each legal procedures for collecting and determining the value of a deceased person’s assets, paying their taxes and debts and disbursement of their assets to their beneficiaries. In administration of a trust these duties are carried out by the Successor Trustee. In a probate they’re carried out by an Executor or Administrator selected by the court. The key difference between administrating a trust and probate is that trusts are usually a private process while probate is handled by the court where all the papers that are filed are a public record.

Probate Administration – Probate Attorney Elgin IL
If you pass away without any properties titled in your name, there frequently must be a probate process for managing and eventually distributing that property. Probate is a legal procedure for two primary functions for your estate: identifying your rightful heirs and the amount each heir shall receive and transferring titles to property out of your name and into your heirs’ names. By having a will drafted in advance of your passing you’ll take care of the first application by identifying heirs and their estate share.

When someone dies and they don’t have a will, the state court system utilizes a formula for selecting beneficiaries and their rightful shares. Even with a will in place, though, the task of titling your property still must be handled by a probate procedure in court. The court names an executor to oversee the estate, collect relevant information about the individual’s property, pay remaining bills and taxes and the distribution of the estate.

Trust Administration – Probate Attorney Elgin IL

When someone has a living trust and transferred their assets into the trust during their lifetime, a probate procedure may not be needed for transferring the assets at death. A successor trustee takes over management of the trust assets right away to pay the deceased’s debts and distribute assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.

Even when there’s no formal probate proceeding, it is still important that the successor trustee follows the rules stated in the trust according to state of Illinois and federal laws. Along with the detailed instructions of a trust, the successor trustee also will:

-Inform the trust’s beneficiaries of their interest in the trust.
-Obtain appraisals of remaining assets.
-Payment of final debts.
-Keep records and provide an accounting update to beneficiaries on an annual basis. The trustee also should obtain the approval of the accounting updates from beneficiaries.
-Inform beneficiaries about trust administration, which includes an estimated time table for completing the administration.
-Receive a tax i.d. number for the trust, file the deceased’s last income tax returns. File state of Illinois and federal tax returns if needed.
-Conduct distributions of assets according to the trust. The trustee should collect receipts for every distribution.

The Importance of Estate Planning

Estate planning is among the most personalized, essential services a lawyer can provide a client. No one enjoys dwelling on the notion of their own death. But if you delay planning for what happens after your passing until it’s too late, you risk that your beneficiaries might not receive what you wanted them to receive due to administration costs, taxes or disputes between your heirs.

This is why estate planning is so essential regardless of an estate’s size. It enables you, while you’re still alive, to assure that your property and assets will distribute to the people of your choosing in the manner you want and on a schedule you want. It enables you to save as much money as you can on taxes and court fees. Plus, estate planning with the help of your Probate Attorney Elgin IL provides the comfort your family and friends will need as they mourn your loss without being burdened at the same time with unnecessary confusion about finances.

Often, our clients will have concerns about how to legally reduce their exposure to estate, gift or inheritance taxes. We supply advice on estate planning strategies that can be useful not just upon passing but also during lifetime to permit assets to pass directly to named beneficiaries in a tax-efficient way. These transactions may include the drafting of trusts that skip a generation, forming partnerships, or a corporation which serves to shift the growth in asset value out of an estate. In forming the estate plan which is suited for a client’s financial and family circumstances, we take a close look at the kind of assets that are involved – from business and retirement assets to real estate holdings or securities.

There is also a lot more to estate planning than only tax considerations. Among the most important issues is how to effectively provide for the deceased’s family and who shall manage the assets. Making these sorts of decisions is tough regardless of the age or capacities of one’s children. A Probate Attorney Elgin IL can offer perspectives learned from our experiences and present alternatives based upon a client’s concerns and intentions for their assets. We advise our clients about drafting estate plans that will include appropriate and lasting asset protections for their loved ones.

If you are an executor, a trustee or the beneficiary of an estate and need assistance in the probate process, please get in touch with our firm and speak to a Probate Attorney Elgin IL.

Contested Wills

In the event that an interested party feels a will that’s been admitted to probate proceedings is the consequence of undue influence, fraud or mental incompetence, he or she can choose to file a petition that contests the will’s validity. Evidence can be offered by each side and a trial can be held to decide if the claims of the party who filed the petition can cause the will to be deemed invalid.

A petition that contests a will’s validity is not the same as a petition for formal proof of will. Proof of will requires the party who wants the will admitted to probate court to demonstrate that the will was correctly executed in front of witnesses. In the state of Illinois, a person who seeks to invalidate a will must first file a petition for formal proof of will.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Will Contest in Illinois?
The deadline to file a petition contesting a will’s validity in Illinois is six months from the date the will was first admitted to a probate proceeding. There are, however, two exceptions:

-A subsequent will can be admitted to probate if the six month deadline has passed. While not officially a will contest, a subsequent will can in some cases invalidate an earlier will.
-A claim of intentional interference with expectancy of inheritance can be filed following the six month period because it would be a civil suit that is not the same as a will contest.

An “interested person,” according to the Illinois Probate Act, can file a petition that contests a will. The act describes an interested person as an heir, a creditor, a legatee or a person who is entitled to their spouse’s award. An heir is anyone that would be entitled to inherit assets or property if there is no will. A legatee is a beneficiary who is, in fact, named in a will.

Consult with a Probate Attorney Elgin IL at 847-628-8311.