Descent and Distribution

Descent and Distribution rules govern heirship in Illinois.  Generally, the rules of descent and distribution are:

If the decedent died leaving a surviving spouse and one or more descendants (children, grandchildren), then 1/2 of the estate goes to the surviving spouse and 1/2 to the descendants per stirpes;

 

If the decedent died and the spouse was predeceased, then . . . → Read More: Descent and Distribution

Joint Property

Joint Property – in Illinois, and most jurisdictions, can be titled in various ways.  An understanding of how each different type of joint property is essential for estate planning purposes.  Here are some very different ways of holding title to joint property:

Tenants in Common: When an asset or property is held by two or more individuals . . . → Read More: Joint Property

General Duties of a Trustee

General Duties of a Trustee:  One of the more important considerations when discussing estate planning options is the institution or individual named as Trustee or Successor Trustee.  If one of the estate planning vehicles being considered is a revocable or “living” trust, with the grantor acting as the initial trustee, the individual or institution named as . . . → Read More: General Duties of a Trustee

Benefits of a Revocable Trust

The Benefits of a Revocable Trust are numerous.  Also known as a “Living Trust,” a Revocable Trust is formed by a grantor during his lifetime, and becomes irrevocable upon the death of the grantor.  The typical revocable trust consists of all or more of the grantor’s property, whth the trustee keeping the property and assets invested, and . . . → Read More: Benefits of a Revocable Trust

Estate Planning – Wills

Estate Planning – Wills – basic planning for the distribution of assets after death.  Drafting and executing a Will is a major component of estate planning.   A Will is an instrument executed by a competent person, whereby property is deposed of after death.

In Illinois, a Will:

Must be in writing
Must be signed by the testator
Must be witnessed . . . → Read More: Estate Planning – Wills

Inheritance when the Decedent Dies Without a Will

Inheritance when the Decedent Dies Without a WIll is governed by the Rules of Descent and Distribution in Illinois.  These rules in an Intestate Estate are the guidelines by which the assets of a decedent who dies intestate (without a will) are passed on after death.  Assets are only distributed after the payment of claims and expenses . . . → Read More: Inheritance when the Decedent Dies Without a Will

Contesting a Will

A will contest is an action to set aside a will that has been admitted to probate.  This action, which may be filed by any interested party, allows for an opportunity to investigate the circumstances related to:

Execution of the will (properly witnessed, with testator of sound mind and acknowledging the signing);
The capacity of the testator
Other factors . . . → Read More: Contesting a Will

Contested Decedent’s Estate Issues

In the State of Illinois, a probate estate is required if the decedent died leaving assets in excess of $100,000, or owned real estate.  A decedent who dies without having a will, leaves an intestate estate.  A decedent who dies with a Will, leaves a testate estate.  Each type of estate poses different challenges for the . . . → Read More: Contested Decedent’s Estate Issues

Guardianships of minors and disabled adults

Guardianships of minors and disabled adults is one of the services offered by Christine C. Karr, a Chicago Probate attorney.

Guardianship estates are required for minors who receive funds from the settlement of, or verdict in, a personal injury case, or receives funds from any source – including funds from a deceased parent or life insurance proceeds.   . . . → Read More: Guardianships of minors and disabled adults

Representation of Trustees and Fiduciaries

Representation of Trustees and Fiduciaries is one of the services offered by Christine C. Karr, a Chicago Probate attorney, and includes representation of individual trustees and successor trustees, as well as corporate fiduciaries acting as trustees. 

Services offered include:

Trust administration
Accountings and reporting to beneficiaries
Trust litigation
Trust termination and distributions
Federal income tax preparation
Preparation of Trust agreements
Supplemental Needs Trusts
OBRA Trusts
Representation . . . → Read More: Representation of Trustees and Fiduciaries