Chicago Area Beneficiary Representation Lawyers
Attorneys Representing Beneficiaries in Probate and Trust Litigation
The death of a loved one is often not easy or simple. Family members of the deceased will want to be sure their loved one’s last wishes are carried out correctly, and unfortunately, this does not always happen. Whether the failure to follow the instructions set down in a will or trust happens because of malicious intent or carelessness, beneficiaries may need to take legal action to address these issues. By working with an attorney who is experienced in estate administration, they can protect their rights and their loved one’s wishes.
The lawyers at the Gierach Law Firm have been working with families for more than 30 years to create estate plans, and we understand the importance of providing detailed instructions for how a person’s assets should be distributed to their beneficiaries. When these instructions are not being carried out, we can help beneficiaries take the right steps to protect their loved one’s legacy.
Representation of Beneficiaries in Matters Involving Wills and Trusts
A person who is named as the executor or personal representative of an estate is tasked with making a complete inventory of the deceased person’s assets and distributing those assets to the person’s beneficiaries. Similarly, a trustee will manage assets held in a trust and distribute them to beneficiaries according to instructions provided by the trust maker. Beneficiaries may become concerned about the management or distribution of their loved one’s assets in a variety of situations, including:
- Invalid wills – There are a variety of reasons that beneficiaries may suspect that the will filed in probate court does not reflect their loved one’s wishes. The grounds for contesting a will may include claims that the person did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were signing, that someone coerced the person into signing a will that went against their desires, or that a will is altogether fraudulent due to a forged signature or terms being changed after it was signed.
- Improper accounting of assets – The executor or personal representative is required to give to beneficiaries (and sometimes file with the probate court) an inventory of the deceased person’s assets and debts. They must also file reports regarding the payment of taxes or other expenses for the estate. If beneficiaries believe that some assets or debts are not included in the inventory, that the reported value of certain assets is incorrect, or that expenses have not been paid correctly, they may bring these matters to the probate court’s attention and ask for a separate inventory or appraisals to be performed.
- Mismanagement of a trust – A trustee will be required to manage the funds or assets in a trust properly, including making prudent investments and providing regular reports to beneficiaries. If there are concerns that the assets in a trust have lost value because they were mismanaged, beneficiaries may be able to have the trustee removed or replaced, or they may take legal action to recover funds that were lost.
- Improper distributions – Beneficiaries may need to address the failure by an executor, personal representative, or trustee to follow the deceased person’s wishes regarding the distribution of assets. Legal action may be taken to ensure that the terms of a will or trust are followed correctly or to recover damages that a beneficiary experienced due to improper distributions of a deceased person’s assets.
Contact Our DuPage County Estate Litigation Attorneys
Whether you are concerned about your rights as a beneficiary, want to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are followed correctly, or simply wish to make sure all of the necessary steps are followed during the estate administration process, the Gierach Law Firm, LLC can provide the legal help you need. Contact us today to set up a consultation at our Naperville office by calling 630-756-1160 or call us in Hoffman Estates at 847-519-0505.