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estate administration & probate Archives

'Family-proofing' the estate administration and probate process

TV shows and movies in decades past often depicted close families who, even if they argued, always ended up presenting a united front with no sibling rivalry or other family squabbles. As many Illinois residents know, times have changed. While many families do remain close, some never quite see eye to eye, which could complicate the estate administration and probate process.

Is your trust ready for estate administration?

Many Illinois residents conclude that they need a trust to properly execute their plans for their surviving family members upon their deaths. A trust can simplify the estate administration process if everything goes according to plan. However, if an individual fails to take one crucial step -- funding the trust -- those plans could fail.

Scrutinize potential estate plans for probate risks

Those Illinois residents who take the time to make sure their families are provided for after death should be applauded. A disproportionate amount of people still do not have estate plans, which leaves their surviving loved ones to face a potentially arduous probate process. Unfortunately, not assessing all of the risk associated with an estate plan could do the same thing.

Certain events often require estate plan changes

Those Illinois residents who took the time to ensure their loved ones are taken care of after their death probably put the documents away believing that they have done what they needed to do to achieve that goal. They probably created an estate plan that fit the circumstances of the time, and while that was a good step, the plan may not stand the test of time. Life rarely remains the same over the years, and an estate plan needs to change with it.

Estate planning is often farthest from college students' minds

Many Illinois young people begin their adult lives in college. They feel as though their whole lives are ahead of them and that they have plenty of time to worry about "adult" issues. What they do not realize is that no one knows whether they will end up suffering from serious injuries, a serious illness or even death at any point. For this reason, college students tend not to consider the fact that estate planning should be a priority for them as well.

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.