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Illinois Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Dad died & step-mom selling marital home. His Will names only current wife for all assets but title is tenants in common

Father died & step-mom is selling their marital home. His Will only named his current wife. Upon selling their marital home of 30 years she remembered the title is joint tenancy with 50% to her and 50% to his 4 heirs (2 are her biological children with him and 2 are only his biological... Read more »

George W. Svoboda
George W. Svoboda answered on Jun 29, 2020

It seems you have property rights in the home. I believe she is mistaken that your property rights will be wiped out in the probate court. You were given the property before your father died, which means that part of the property does not go through probate. I would not sign the quit claim deed if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: If I am the appoint administrator of my child’s estate in a lawsuit am I the one who would distribute the money?

I am legally divorce with my husband but we both signed a document appointing me adminIstrator of the estate we are finalizing a lawsuit. Am I the one who distributes the funds to him and our children or who is the one responsible to do that ?

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jun 19, 2020

Yes, the administrator of the estate is responsible to ensure the bills are paid, the taxes are paid, the assets are accounted for, any specific gifts are properly distributed, and the remainder of the estate is then distributed per the wishes of the grantor.

There can be co-administrators....
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: My husband passed with no will. His children are telling me they want his 2 trucks, motorcycle and trailer?

Do I have any right to the value of these after 30 years of marriage

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Jun 16, 2020

I’m SO sorry to hear about this; how awful.

A surviving spouse is entitled to half the assets of a deceased spouse. Please call me at (312) 300-4743 to discuss, if you’d like.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Illinois on
Q: Does Illinois require gutters? I live in Chicago and my roof is a gable roof.

If my neighbor is complaining about installing gutters, do I have to install them? Am I legally obligated to install them?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jun 16, 2020

An Illinois attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. Until you are able to reach a local attorney, you could start some self-help research by looking into state building codes (and local ones as well, if they address the issue). If such regulations or codes exist,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: My dad passed (no spouse) and in his will left everything to my sister and myself.

Six weeks after his death my sister passes. She had a husband but no children. I am the executor and wondering if I have to pay out half my father's estate to her husband. Nothing has been distributed yet and they were talking about a divorce so it feels wrong to pay half of my dad's... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 11, 2020

It does depend on how the will was worded. You should have it reviewed by a probate attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Can you disinherit a minor from your will in Illinois?
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on May 19, 2020

A person can make a claim of disinheritance in their will, yes. It must be an act of affirmation - in other words you need to state that you are disinheriting person "X". The disinherited party would still have an opportunity to show cause to a judge as to why they should take of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Illinois on
Q: Father and mother bought a house together. She passed away and father re-married. They lived at 2nd wife’s residence.

2nd wife never lives nor contributed to the family home. Father passed away. Sister lived and paid all the bills at the fam. home, but she recently passed away. When selling the property does 2nd wife has the right to the 50% when we sell?

Robert Shipley
Robert Shipley answered on May 13, 2020

Who holds title to the family home? Did your mom have a will? Was the property held by a trust, individually in either your mother or father's name, jointly by both of your parents or in some other manner.

Those questions must be answered. When did you mom pass away and was a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Illinois on
Q: We need a plan for the future. My husband has MS. I'll keep him at home as long possible, but we need a plan in place.

Do we sell the house? I will not have the income to make the mortgage payment and the upkeep on the house. We also have a car payment, we are upside down and have 6 years left on the loan. Should we trade down? Also a personal unsecured loan with 5 years left to pay. Help please

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 13, 2020

You need to consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific circumstances. There are too many facts missing and, in any event, this forum is not for personalized advice; it is best suited to answering simple questions with general applicability. A financial advisor can help you make a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: How to get control of my fathers house when he dies since I'm his durable poa
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 13, 2020

Powers of attorney are automatically revoked at death. You will most likely need to be appointed executor of his estate by a probate court. However, there is a simpler procedure available if the vale of all of his assets, including house, cars, bank accounts, etc. is less than $100,000. A probate... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Divorce and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: My wife divorced me in secret I still have got no notice of any part of a divorce. Is this legal
Daniel J. Kollias
Daniel J. Kollias answered on May 12, 2020

If it's a secret about which you have no notice, how do you know about it? Having said that, if you truly haven't received any notice, then you can file a motion to vacate any judgment that has been entered against you. I recommend contacting a divorce lawyer who practices in the county... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Divorce for Illinois on
Q: Do I have rights to the marital home if it was purchased before the wedding, it is in a trust, and I’m not on the title?

The house is currently being paid off with commingled funds and I have contributed financially to the improvement of the home. My husband has it in a premarital living trust. We do not have a prenup but all of his assets are in a premarital revocable trust. Do I get nothing if we split?

J. Richard Kulerski Esq.
J. Richard Kulerski Esq. answered on May 11, 2020

The marital estate should be reimbursed for the marital funds that were spent on the home improvements. Whether it should be reimbursed for the principal reduction of the house payments is something to be argued on a case by case basis.

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Can a bank sell a vehicle from an estate sale without entering in the estate auction for everyone to bid?

My mom‘s fiancé recently passed away in September. He had a 2009 Lincoln MKS that I was driving up until two months ago when I took it to the bank for them to put it in the auction with the intention of buying it back. They told me that I had to wait until the auction opened up and bid on the... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on May 2, 2020

If you turned title to the car over to the bank, then yes - they own the car and can do with it what they want. Unless you have a written agreement with the bank that obligates them to put the car up for auction so you could bid on the vehicle, the bank had no requirement to do that.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: My mom passed away I have her house in probate can I file bankruptcy

Or do I have to assume the loan first

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Apr 14, 2020

A debtor's assets in bankruptcy include property received by bequest, devise or inheritance. Please review section 541 of the bankruptcy code before making any decisions. If you are inheriting the house and there is equity, you need to analyze how that equity is treated if you file for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Any rights and what to do?

Living in home with owner since 2014. Verbal agreement to be her caretaker and pay utilities and upkeep of home. All utilities in her name but paid out of my bank account. Notarized letter of residency w/ mine and her signature for schools for my children to attend each year. She passed away... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 13, 2020

According to your own recitation of the facts, the verbal agreement was premised, at least in part, on you being her caretaker. Now that she is deceased, the verbal agreement to stay and serve as her caretaker is ended. You have the option of either vacating or negotiation a rental agreement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Illinois on
Q: I have a question about parents cremains. Sister has my moms and I'd like them split along with my dads.

My sister has my moms cremains and I'd would like them split. So my sister and I each have 1/2 and my parents are together. My sister says because she has had the remains at her house because my dad didnt want them at his house when she first passed away that they are hers. Legally do they... Read more »

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Apr 1, 2020

The easy answer to this is "no", your mother's ashes do not legally belong to your sister. I hope the two of you can work out this matter amicably and not have to take it to court.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: What happens when a beneficiary on an annuity is deceased? How is his portion distributed If there is a trust?

The annuity is not in the trust but list beneficiaries. The trust designates the deceased portion to go to his children. How can we assure that happens?

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Mar 30, 2020

Without seeing the annuity itself it is difficult to answer. However, if at the time the payout is made, the payout is made only to the living beneficiaries, there are several options they can take to ensure that the descendants of the deceased beneficiary receive his equal share under the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Are online wills legally binding in Illinois (overriding existing court filed wills)?

My wife and I had a will completed in 2003. We would like redo. Due to pandemic circumstances we were considering completing on line. If we were to complete on line today. Would the will be (in force) as of its filing on today?

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Mar 21, 2020

755 ILCS 5/4-3 of the Illinois Probate Act states that every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator and attested (witnessed) by 2 or more witnesses. Preparing something online only does not comply.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: I have an estate law question.

My father passed away in February. My sister obtained keys to his house and she is now refusing to provide me with a copy.

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Mar 13, 2020

You don't provide enough information for anyone to give you solid advice. Did your father have a will? If he did, who did he leave the house to? Has an estate been opened in your father's name? If so, who is the executor or administrator and what are they doing about this situation? If an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: Can a fingerprint be trademarked to protect intellectual and pyshical property?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 20, 2020

Trademark protection is based on use as a source identifier of goods or services. If that fingerprint isn't identifying the source of a good or service, the likely answer is no.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Health Care Law, Insurance Bad Faith and Stockbroker Fraud for Illinois on
Q: What does Tod subject to STA Tod rules mean
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 17, 2020

Generally speaking, TOD means "Transfer on Death," and STA means "Securities Transfer Association." Your question remains open for four weeks; for a meaningful explanation of these terms, you should consider consulting with an attorney knowledgeable in probate/estate law, more... Read more »

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