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Questions Answered by Charles E. Hutchinson
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: what power do a executor over a will have
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Oct 17, 2021

Executors have the power to fulfill the wishes of the grantor of the will. They have the power to pay all debts owed by the estate of the deceased, to collect money owed to the deceased on behalf of the estate, to pay all taxes, and to distribute all remaining assets after debts have been paid, to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Estate Planning and Business Law for Illinois on
Q: Can I list a specific chapter of a fraternity as a beneficiary on a 401K?

I'm opening a 401k with my new employer and want to know if I can list my former fraternity's chapter specifically as my beneficiary or not. Assume that there will be no spouse in the picture and that the beneficiary will be updated if there is.

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Sep 13, 2021

I would NOT list your fraternity as a beneficiary to your 401K, but rather make other arrangements in your estate plan. As to if you can name a specific chapter in your fraternity - that could depend on the fraternity, so I cannot give you a good answer on that, you would need to speak to them.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: If a will is signed by the testator on one date and the witnesses on a different date is the will still good?

will created and signed in California for a now Wisconsin resident

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jul 8, 2021

That depends on certain situations. In general, for a will, the witness must be present when witnessing the signing and also sign indicating that they witnessed the signing. However, during the Pandemic, the Governor of Illinois issued and executive order (2020-14) which allowed for the use of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Hello my name is Amber . My gma recently passed and her nephew is executer . he hasnt said much of anything of will .

he is beneficiary of her bank accounts apparently i found out there is allot of money and he isnt speaking of any of it should i get attorney i am named in the will as a beneficiary too

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jun 28, 2021

Sorry for your loss, Amber. If you are sure that there is a will, and if you are sure that your cousin is the executor, you should ask the executor. These things do take time to work themselves out, so depending on "recently", it may still have a lot of time before it is all said and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Do I have to be informed that I'm named to a will? How can I find out if I'm also named in the trust?

I'm from Illinois. I was named in my fathers will. There is also a trust attached to the will. I am estranged from my family so simply asking the executor is out of the question. I was never notified of the will being filed in probate (I found out doing a probate search online). My question is... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jun 16, 2021

Being named in a will does not necessarily mean that you will inherit from the will. I doubt that the attorney who drafted the will is going to answer your questions. If the decedent's estate plan included a trust, it is very unlikely that the probate attorney will be of much help unless... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Good Morning, I am writing to you because my mother is 83 years old and wants to get her estate done.

We do not know to go about it so if you steer us to the right direction, we would really appreciate it. Also you can let us know what would she need to get her things in order. Thank you

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jun 10, 2021

Good Morning!

Your mother should contact a few estate planning attorneys to find one she is comfortable working with on her estate plan. The attorney can discuss options based on the initial consultation about how she might best set up her estate plan.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: My dad passed away and without my knowledge my sister sold his home and kept the money.What can I do to receive my part?
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jun 5, 2021

A lot depends on state law, your father's situation when he passed (did he die intestate?), and the ownership of the real estate when he passed.

Option #1 - ask your sister for your share or an explanation as to why she did what she did.

Option #2 - open probate on your...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: I am moving to the suburbs and I have a condo I want to give the condo to my son .

There is still a mortgage on it and just want to know as long as he takes over the mortgage I want to give him the property

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on May 10, 2021

There is not a question, only a situation. And it really isn't estate planning.

You cannot give him the property as long as he takes over the mortgage. How do you plan on giving him the property, and when? Is this transfer to be done in your will? Will you deed the property over...
Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: At what size Net Worth should I consider a Trust instead of a Will?
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on May 5, 2021

For the vast majority of my clients the decision between a trust and a will is not about net worth. With the Death tax threshold being so high right now ($11,700,000 federally, and $4,000,000 in Illinois) most of the time this is not about avoiding paying taxes. The 2 big differences between... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: There's a trust fund and it's my brother & I but he's refused to let me see any of the paperwork do I have a right

There's also a house he claimed he bought from my parents I asked him

Show proof he will not its part of the asset well time is up and he will not add the house just wants to split the trust as is what is my legal right he also had to take money out of the trust fund to pay off this... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Apr 8, 2021

If you are a beneficiary you have a right to see at least some of the trust paperwork, and likely all of it. Some trusts may include language limiting information which can be shared. It sounds like your brother is the named trustee. To start, you can ask to see the names of trustees in the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Thank you. I do understand that to be true.... 1 family member however that is wanting to sell, does not want to...

Give up their mineral rights to the land... can they really have the best of both worlds & ultimately screw the other 2 family members.

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 29, 2021

When it comes to selling and buying, most everything is negotiable. If they are not willing to sell 100% of their share, then the value of that share may be greatly diminished. The remaining plaintiffs could sue in court demanding that the sale include mineral rights, although nothing is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: So for the family members that don’t want to sell

Isn’t there any way to stop this?

It has been in our family a very long time & it is not divided up...

this isn’t right - there has to be away to stop it

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 27, 2021

Those who don't want to sell can buy the fair market value of those who want to sell. Otherwise, there may be language in the will or trust which has provisions regarding the sale of items such as a specific number or % of beneficiaries required to sell assets.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: How do add a relative to your home, so they can continue living their if one should pass away?

I live with my mother, helping her with bills and running errands for her since she had been on oxygen, she just had a stroke and is now in the hospital. I am one of 3 sons. One brother has legally been left in charge of her finances, the other in charge of her medical. She was wanting to put me on... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 25, 2021

To say which is "best" is subjective and would depend on many factors. However, the three most common ways to accomplish the goal of leaving you the house are:

1. Adding your name to the title.

2. She can leave it to you in her will.

3. She can put it in a trust...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: I was part of a family estate lawyer then I hired my own attorney, there is no family disput.... since money is comin

Out my share does the estate attorney still work for me also? I'm in Illinois

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 10, 2021

It is very likely that the initial attorney represents the executor of the estate, not the individual beneficiaries. The executor would be entitled to pay that attorney out of the estate funds, so yes, your share as well. The attorney you hired to represent you personally will be paid by you... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: My mother passed away with an irrevocable family trust. Under the terms I am the beneficiary. How do I get assets?

My father is executor and for two years has refused to give me info unless I sign 1/2 to him. This was from my grandparents estate. What actions need to be taken?

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 1, 2021

Your recourse is within two potential places.

The first place may be in the trust itself which may give you the right to remove the executor.

The second place is in the court of probate. The executor must follow the terms of the trust and can face harsh penalties for not doing so.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: good morning question my father inlaw set up a s trust for his family for the business he owned

he is now deceased but his wife is still alive and she wants change it she thinks its unfair

please let me know

thank you

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Feb 24, 2021

The devil is always in the details. In general, the trust can only be changed by the grantor (the one who created it). Once the grantor passes away, the trust is as it is.

However to fully address the issue it would be best to give all relevant documents to a lawyer for review. The...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Deceased gave & sold away items while living knowing that was dying. Now that passed away the family is threatening

Threatening legal actions saying that it’s illegal for anyone to have these items deceased gave to them & have to return to them or risk arrests. Deceased had no legal will, though does have a video of one on social media. Deceased was married however ended many years ago but never legally... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Feb 13, 2021

An owner has every right to sell, gift, give away, trade, barter, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any or all of their worldly possessions. There is no law against eliminating the burden of "stuff" of one's own free will.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Who is responsible for defending the integrity of a legaly issued will written by a lawyer and witnessed by 2 attorneys
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jan 13, 2021

The responsibility falls on the estate, through the executor. Part of the executor's duties is to manage the estate the for the benefit of the beneficiaries as well as adhere to the wishes and direction of the grantor.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Can they put a lien on my moms house over my deceased dads debt that she didnt agree to?

My dad died in january. Before he died he had roof work done on our house. They lied to him and promised insurance would cover the roofing, but insurance only covered a small amount. My mom now cant afford their 6k bill and kept the 2k check from allstate as well. Now the roofers are threatening a... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Sep 10, 2020

Yes they can. I agree with Robert. In short, the roofer did work on the house. You mother, living there, is benefiting from the work done. The roofer has a valid claim and can put a lien on the home.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: I live in Illinois, Im turning 18 in 5 days, when i turn 18 im wanting to go live with my boyfriend in Pennsylvania.

Im going to drive to him, but my car is in my parents name and my phone also that they gave me. if i go to him can they take my stuff from me?

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Aug 24, 2020

The car and the phone belong to your parents because they are titled under their name. Yes, your parents have total control over their use. These items were not "gifts" but things which your parents own and let you use. If you do take the car and phone and refuse to return them if... Read more »

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