Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer on How to Discuss Estate Plans with Aging Parents

If you have parents nearing retirement and they do not have adequate estate plans, you may be worried about how to bring up the topic of estate planning with them. It can be incredibly hard to discuss what will happen after your parents pass away with them, but it is a crucial conversation. Dying without, […]

Establishing and Administering a Charitable Trust

Estate planning is a fairly new concept. It used to be that parents did not think twice about leaving everything to their children. Today, however, with the advent of charitable giving and changing family norms, people have more options to consider when writing their wills. If you choose to make “nontraditional” bequests – or, more […]

A Will Written Later in Time May Cause Probate Confusion

A German art collector achieved notoriety last fall when the world discovered his hidden collection of European masterworks that had been obtained by his Nazi-era father. This revelation spawned a collective outrage that culminated in a web of questions after he died, leaving behind no known heirs. A Swiss museum initially claimed to be the […]

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 […]

What is the Function of a Trust, and What Types of Trusts Exist in Illinois?

When you and your spouse decide to begin planning your estate and determining property or assets to pass on to your children, there are a few options available to you. One of these options is a trust, which can shield said assets from taxation and probate. They also enable you to protect your family and […]

Planning in Advance: Express Your End of Life Wishes in a Living Will

Death can be an uncomfortable subject of conversation. But it is also a universal fact of life. It is far better to plan for that eventuality in advance and do everything possible to prepare our loved ones, than to force emotional decisions when the moment finally arrives.  Bud Hammes agrees with that. He works as […]

Illinois Appellate Court: It is Unconstitutional to Tax a Trust with No Current Connection to the State

In 1961, an Illinois resident established a  living trust. The trust property was located in Illinois, and the trustee – the person managing the trust – and beneficiary – the person benefiting from the trust – were also Illinois residents. Given these connections to Illinois, state law clearly governed the trust. But the trust also […]

Making Bequests to Your Pets in a Pet Trust

If you’re a pet owner, odds are you consider your furry friend to be a member of the family. You love your pet during life, and might worry what will happen if it outlives you. Perhaps that is why an increasing number of Americans are making bequests to ensure their pets’ well being from beyond […]

Understanding Intestacy Rules of Descent and Distribution

For estate-planning purposes, it is wise to enact a will designating what happens to your property when you die. If you neglect (or choose not) to do so, the law dictates what happens to your real and personal estate after your death.  This affects both Illinois residents and nonresidents who own property located in the […]

Know Your Estate Tax Burdens in Illinois

When you are planning your estate, it is important that you consider the impact the estate tax can have on what you leave your spouse and other beneficiaries, including religious institutions. You will need to consider both the federal and state estate taxes when estate planning in Illinois, though unlike other states there is no […]