Naperville Lawyer Talks About New Illinois Estate Planning Laws in 2015

new estate planning laws, Naperville estate planning attorneySeveral new estate planning laws  took effect on January 1, 2015 and include the following:

  • An amendment to the Illinois Probate Act was made which changed the probate rules for minors with short-term guardians. When a child inherits property, a court will typically appoint a guardian to represent a child’s interests. However, a court does not have the ability to act on a petition seeking a guardian appointment if the minor already has an able and willing guardian. If the petitioner is not this guardian, there is a rebuttable presumption that the guardian is able and willing to take care of the minor. The petitioner must prove that the guardian is not able and willing or that there is no longer a guardian. The law also provides that:

    • The appointment of a short-term guardian is not equivalent to consent from parents;

    • If the minor’s parent or guardian appointed a short-term guardian who later petitions for guardianship, that petition must show specifics concerning the appointment and provide a copy of the appointment with the petition; and

    • A guardian cannot take a child out of Illinois for more than a month without first receiving permission from the court.

  • Another amendment to the Probate Act requires all valid claims against a decedent’s small estate to be paid before any distribution is made to an heir. The law also provides that:

    • A decedent’s estate should pay claims in the order set forth in the listed classifications; and

    • If the estate is insufficient to pay claims in a specific class, those claims should be paid pro rata (proportionately).

  • A related amendment to the Safety Deposit Box Opening Act was made which provides that the lessor of a safety deposit box can authorize a representative of a decedent’s estate or a person designated in a small estate affidavit (which lists and classifies the decedent’s debts) after receiving a copy of the affidavit and an applicable court order.

  • An amendment to the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act altered the concept of “residential real estate.” The law also provides that:

    • An individual under a power of attorney cannot make or remove a transfer on death instrument, but the agent may sell, transfer or encumber the residential real estate;

    • A beneficiary of under a transfer on death instrument may file a notice of death affidavit in the office of the recorder; and

    • The filing of a notice of death affidavit is not a condition to transfer of title.

Our Naperville estate planning attorneys have a knowledgeable grasp of these changes to Illinois estate planning law. Please contact us today for a consultation if you have questions regarding these changes or with any additional estate planning needs.