Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Discusses Reasons You Might Wish to Avoid Probate

In my numerous years as an estate planning attorney, I have helped many people achieve their personal and financial goals through a personalized estate plan. Whether it is drafting a will, trust, guardianship, or other estate planning document, having a comprehensive estate plan puts you in control of personal decisions instead of leaving these important […]

Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Discusses the Passing of a Music Legend

She was larger than life on stage and on the silver screen, but Aretha Franklin was known for being intensely private in regard to personal matters. Unfortunately, when the Queen of Soul passed away from pancreatic cancer earlier this month, she apparently did so without any type of will or trust in place to protect […]

Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Discusses Leaving Assets to Caregivers

As you get older, you may require increased levels of medical and personal care. In some cases, your children, grandchildren, or other family members may be able to provide the assistance you need, but in other instances, you may be forced to rely on the services of a caregiver to whom you are not related. […]

Disabled Adult Beneficiaries May Require Guardianship Petitions

Illinois law recognizes that not every adult is capable of making decisions – whether personal or financial – for himself or herself. People in these situations often need someone looking out for their interests, especially when such interests become the subject of a legal proceeding. One common example arises whenever a disabled adult is named […]

New Illinois Probate Law Signed to Protect against Caregiver Abuse

A new Illinois probate law will prevent non-family caregivers from financially abusing their elderly patients. Beginning on January 1, 2015, the statute will create a presumption of fraud regarding property transferred to a non-family caregiver through a will or other instrument, if the transfer exceeds $20,000. This presumption applies only to “caregivers” and excludes the […]

Understanding the Probate Process

The mechanics of writing a will or establishing a trust are integral components of an estate plan. Equally important, however, is understanding how your estate plan will be administered. Here is what you can expect to happen with your estate, if you executed a will: The place of probate will be determined. Generally, probate will occur […]

Contesting the Validity of a Will in Illinois

While talking about life after you are gone and deciding how to distribute your property can be difficult, estate planning is the responsible thing to do. There are many avenues to consider, but the most basic step to take is executing a will. Unfortunately, having a legally executed will does not always ensure a smooth […]

How to Proceed in Probate When the Life Status of the “Decedent” is Unknown

Nine years after Samuel Zagaria disappeared, his sister Joanne petitioned the Cook County probate court for a presumption of death. The court complied and appointed Joanne, Zagaria’s only heir, the administrator of her brother’s estate. But in the course of administering the estate and trying to collect insurance benefits, Samuel turned up alive. Unfortunately for […]

No Will for Winehouse

According to a recent report by Forbes, after powerhouse singer Amy Winehouse actually did pass away without a will. She died at 27 of alcohol poisoning. Preliminary reports stated that she not only did in fact have a will but that she had also updated her will after her divorce from felon husband Blake Fielder-Civil. […]

The Process of Probate in Illinois

Probate is the legal and court process by which property is transferred from a person who has died to another person or persons or other entity or entities, where other means of transfer (such as, a joint tenancy or pay on death account) have not been used. In Illinois probate will probably be required where […]