Civil Union Couples – Estate Planning

Civil Union Couples – Estate planning is now essential.  With the passage of the HB 2234, ptherwise known as the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act,  a person who has entered into a civil union shall be included in any definition of use of the terms:  SPOUSE, FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, DEPENDENT, and NEXT OF . . . → Read More: Civil Union Couples – Estate Planning

Estate Plan Review and Modification

Estate plan review and modification should take place intermittently after wills, trusts and Powers of Attorney are executed.  Guidelines regarding WHEN estate plans should be reviewed are as follows:

Large Estates – where assets are valued in the millions, marital exemption trusts are established, and federal taxes are an issue, an estate plan should be reviewed annually.

Small . . . → Read More: Estate Plan Review and Modification

Doctrine of Probable Intent

Doctrine of Probable Intent – an interesting approach involving the judicial creation of Supplemental Needs Trusts for disabled adult daughters of an intestate decedent, ultimately disallowed by a state appeals court in New Jersey.

Emphasizing again the need for timely estate planning, the decedent retained an attorney for the purpose of creating supplement trusts for her disabled . . . → Read More: Doctrine of Probable Intent

Problems with Internet-based Estate Planning Services

Problems with Internet-based Estate Planning Services:  Saving money by utilizing an internet-based estate planning service, such as LegalZoom, may ultimately cost consumers more money and angst.   A class action suit, filed in California by Katherine Webster, as Executor of the estate of Anthony Ferrantino and Trustee of the Anthony J. Ferrantino Living Trust, alleges that the . . . → Read More: Problems with Internet-based Estate Planning Services

Undue Influence – Will Contest

Undue Influence:  The use of undue influence on a testator is a major cause of a subsequent will contest.   Elderly individuals, who live alone and lack caring friends and family nearby, are particulary susceptible to undue influence by someone who is less than ethical and motivated by money and greed.

If there is a fiduciary relationship between . . . → Read More: Undue Influence – Will Contest

Lack of Testamentary Capacity – Illinois Will Contest

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A finding of a Lack of Testamentary Capacity at the time of the execution of a will can be the basis for a successful will contest.  In Illinois, there is a presumption that the testator possessed testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed, if the will is properly executed (signed) in . . . → Read More: Lack of Testamentary Capacity – Illinois Will Contest