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estate administration & probate Archives

Questions to ask before preparing for estate administration

Most Illinois residents know they need to prepare for the future. They understand that they could suffer an injury or illness that could incapacitate or even kill them, but few people actually want to sit down and contemplate these events long enough to prepare for incapacitation and estate administration. For those who come to the conclusion that it is a necessary evil, it may help to have some direction regarding how to structure a plan.

What do per stirpes or per capita mean for estate administration?

Most Illinois residents strive to be as fair as possible when it comes to distributing their property after death. They want to take care of their families while making estate administration as smooth and simple as possible. One of the decisions to be made involves how heirs and beneficiaries inherit those assets.

Another task to complete after a divorce: Estate planning

During a divorce, Illinois residents have a multitude of issues to deal with before the process is complete. Many people think that once the divorce settlement is signed, their work is done and they can move on with their lives. Sadly, many forget another important task that requires their attention now that their marriages have ended -- estate planning, especially if there are children involved.

It's misleading to call a will 'simple'

During the good times in their lives, estate-planning documents probably do not mean much to Illinois residents. In fact, they may not even give them a second thought. However, when they pass away, a few sheets of paper can make a tremendous difference in what happens next. In fact, there really is nothing "simple" about a last will and testament.

Using estate planning to take care of a spouse after death

The average age of the population of this country continues to rise. Even as the number of so-called "gray divorces" continues to rise, many couples here in Illinois and elsewhere remain together well into their golden years. Sadly, not enough of them engage in the type of estate planning that will adequately care for the surviving spouse upon death.

Probate could be challenging in Aretha Franklin's estate

Most Illinois residents may already be aware that in August, the world lost a music legend when the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, died at the age of 76. Even though other celebrities recently died without an estate plan, it is still surprising that Franklin died without even a will. That means that her approximately $80 million estate will need to go through probate as an intestate estate, which in this case, will probably be time-consuming and certainly expensive.

Including these in a will could complicate probate

The primary purpose of an Illinois resident's will is to distribute property. While that statement may generally be true, there are certain types of property that a will does not distribute. In fact, including some items in this document could complicate probate and cause surviving family members a great deal of consternation, time and money.

Use estate planning to make things easier on the family

Most Illinois residents want to make sure their family members do not have to go through anything unnecessary in order to take care of them both before and after death. Estate planning can help make sure that does not happen. Without the proper documentation in place, the state decides where assets go upon death and/or family members must go to court to determine how to handle certain issues.

Seniors should beware of estate planning scams

Just as is the case anywhere in the country, anyone here in Illinois can become the victim of a scam, but it is seniors who seem to be the largest target group. Scams come from a variety of sources, even estate planning. People prey on the fact that seniors may not have put a plan into place yet and may feel pressured to execute one.

Letting loved ones know how estate administration should happen

Illinois residents know that they have the right to choose what happens to their assets after they pass away, but far too few people actually take advantage of this right. An estate plan allows them to let their loved ones know how they expect estate administration to go. Otherwise, it will be up to the state and the courts.