Chicago Claim Litigation Lawyers Handling Estate Matters
Claim Litigation – Probate is a legal process that involves the court system. It serves to examine and address all aspects of an estate ranging from debts to distribution of assets. It is a very complex process during which more claims can arise. Our law firm is an experienced probate litigation firm that serves clients throughout the Chicagoland community. The lawyers on our staff have years of experience in the handling of claims both for and against an estate. We work to reduce or fully eliminate unsubstantiated claims and assure that all heirs and debtors receive proper compensation. To that end, we apply innovative strategies to remain current with electronic and hard copy paper trails. We fight to secure the peace of mind that our clients deserve.
Probate Claim Litigation Lawyers – Offices of Anthony R. Scifo
Probate is a process where the state recognizes an individual to manage a deceased person’s estate. Wills name personal representatives or executors. In the event there is no will, the state names an administrator. Probate starts when an executor submits to the surrogate or register a will along with a death certificate. If a will doesn’t exist, then probate starts if an interested party petitions the surrogate or register. At first, the government official assesses the death certificate to confirm its validity. Then. The official verifies the authenticity of the will. When there is no will, the official verifies that the person petitioning is qualified to be the administrator. The administrator then pays a fee and receives the appropriate documents proving that he or she represents the estate.
Probate litigation occurs when one or more people believe that at some stage of the process something wrong took place. They then retain the services of a lawyer with relevant expertise and file an appropriate petition.
According to probate law, a probate court identifies the assets of a deceased person.
Additionally, it decides on the payment of taxes, expenses and distribution of property to heirs as the will instructs.
For example, probate courts handle matters such as naming executors and admitting wills. Any contest that arises due to an individual’s death should file in the probate court, which categorizes it as litigation. This process typically involves court appearances among the deceased’s survivors. For instance, conflicts may be regarding guardianship, powers of attorney or wills.
Probate litigation may refer to a range of different situations. Some general examples:
- -A challenge to a will’s validity.
- -Suits in regards to the construction of a will or trust.
- -Contests over appointing a guardian for an individual who hasn’t executed power of attorney.
- -Modifying a trust.
High-risk aspects of probate litigation tend to involve sibling rivalries, marriages or families with dysfunctional history. Individuals that marry several times without pre-nuptial agreements are also at risk of probate litigation. Pre-nuptial agreements are an effective way to prevent probate litigation upon a person’s death. On occasion, people may incorrectly believe they own their properties separately when it may actually convert to marital property
A non-conventional estate plan may raise the chances of probate litigation upon a person’s death. For example, a plan that omits children or treats a child differently, or gifts assets to non-family members.
A fiduciary who is irresponsible also can result in greater chances of probate litigation. This type of situation typically develops if fiduciary communicates poorly or doesn’t follow instructions accurately.
Other problems can develop if the fiduciary procrastinates, is disorganized, untrustworthy or simply lacks sound judgement. Also, the chances of probate litigation increases if two parties are named to serve together as fiduciaries.
Probate Litigation Lawyers Serving Kane and Cook Counties
Even in the event there is a valid contest to an estate, some states have a firm statute of limitations. A probate court will not move ahead with a claim that is beyond the legal time limit. Therefore, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is advisable for anyone who wants to contest an estate.
Given the combative nature of probate litigation, emotions can run high and interactions can be tense. Consequently, probate litigation may be somewhat disruptive for family relationships. However, smart planning can significantly reduce a major part of probate litigation.
Contact a Chicago Probate Litigation Lawyer Now
If you need assistance with issuing estate claims or need representation against such claims, please contact our estate claim litigation attorneys at 847-628-8311 today to set up an initial appointment.
We serve through the Chicagoland area, including Elgin, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, South Elgin, Lake In the Hills, Kane County, Cook County, and surrounding areas.