At Malman Law, through our work with numerous victims of nursing home abuse, we have dealt with just about every legal issue imaginable regarding estates and probate in Illinois. In that process, we have learned how important it is to have a solid plan when it comes to planning your estate and protecting your assets for yourself and for your loved ones. If you live in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois and are facing issues related to these, call Malman Law today to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning lawyers. We have a dedicated legal team that handles estate and probate issues exclusively and are experienced at helping people just like you.
Here are just a few issues Malman Law can help with;
Estate planning involves creating and executing documents that direct how your assets and affairs should be handled should you pass away or become incapacitated due to illness or injury – and it involves much more than just having a will. Below are only some of the documents that make up a comprehensive estate plan.
For many people, a will is the foundation of their estate plan. A will (also referred to as a “last will and testament” is a document that dictates to whom your assets will go after you pass away. In addition, a will can be used to arrange for the guardianship of minor children or forgiveness of debts owed to you.
When you read or hear the word “trust,” you may think of ultra-wealthy families who create trusts for the benefit of their children or other heirs. While it is certainly true that many wealthy families create trusts, the reality is that trusts can be a valuable estate-planning tool for almost everyone. Trusts are an excellent way to protect and transfer assets with as little court involvement and cost as possible.
Part of estate planning is planning for events that you do not expect, such as incapacity as a result of illness or injury. For this reason, your estate plan should include powers of attorney that delegate decision-making power to other people should you not be able to make decisions for yourself. You can execute various powers of attorney documents, including those that delegate authority to make decisions regarding healthcare and your financial matters. Closely related are documents like advance healthcare directives that direct healthcare professionals to take or not take certain actions in specific situations.
Probate is the legal process of administering an estate after someone passes away. If the deceased did not have a will, the estate will be distributed according to Illinois intestate laws. If the individual had a will, the designated personal representative should submit the will to the probate court. The court will determine whether the will is valid, and beneficiaries or potential heirs might challenge the validity of the will for different reasons. If the will is valid, the personal representative will then need to take steps to distribute the estate according to the will.
For many people, a major goal of estate planning is actually avoiding probate altogether. This is because probate can cost an estate a significant amount of money in court fees, attorneys’ fees, appraisers’ fees, and other expenses. In addition, it can take months or even years to settle an estate, costing family members and beneficiaries time and money.
Fortunately, there are many ways that a comprehensive estate plan can allow you to transfer assets outside of probate. For example, any assets held in a living trust pass directly to beneficiaries. Other methods include establishing joint ownership of assets and placing assets in beneficiary accounts.
Many different complications can arise during probate, such as will contests, creditor claim disputes, or allegations against the personal representative. The personal representative also has many duties to carry out, which can be complex and time-consuming. Whether you are a beneficiary with concerns about the will or a personal representative who needs assistance, you should not hesitate to seek help from a lawyer at Malman Law, who represents parties during probate.
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