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Illinois Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Can you fight the family of a deceased transgender woman, who legally changed her name, on trying to bury her as a “him”
J. Richard Kulerski Esq.
J. Richard Kulerski Esq. answered on Apr 10, 2021

The law school that I went to never touched this subject. I would suspect that there is no authority whatsoever answering your question.

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.

2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Inherited undivided interest in a large amount of land, that has mineral rights. Can one of the family members force the

The other family members to sell the land? This land has been in our family for an extremely long time & some don’t want to sell.

J. Richard Kulerski Esq.
J. Richard Kulerski Esq. answered on Mar 27, 2021

Those who want to sell can file a lawsuit for Partition. They will win. This will give the court the power to sell the property at auction and divide the proceeds among all the owners. An auction sale is not likely to bring in as much money as a regular sale.

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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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Illinois on
Q: When a family member passes, how can you be sure that the house goes to the intended beneficiary?

My father want to be sure that I maintain his home when he passes, but we're not sure how to accomplish this. We're in St. Clair County Illinois. When we called the county, we were told to reach out to a lawyer.

Erik K Jacobs
Erik K Jacobs answered on Mar 8, 2021

There are a few options. First, your father can leave the home to you in his will. Second, your father could execute and record a Transfer on Death Instrument (TODI). This document should be immediately recorded in the County Recorder's Office and becomes effective upon your father's passing.

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?

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Mar 1, 2021

Hi there,

To start off, I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this. From what you say, it sounds like your father is wrongfully withholding/assets from you. I'd be happy to speak with you about some options, if you'd like to give me a call at (312)300-4743 or...
Read more »

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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.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Illinois on
Q: How does Guardianship relate to marital rights? My husband had a stroke July1 and his kids showed up with signed Power

of Attorney forms that he didn't remember signing. They completely took over...changed locks on husband's house, closed all of our joint accounts leaving me with no phone, no car insurance and no house insurance. They took over finances and I haven't seen a cent of his money since... Read more »

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Feb 4, 2021

I'm so sorry to hear about these circumstances. I think you may need to consider hiring an attorney to have better communications with your husband's children to reach a resolution.

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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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Husband passed away with no will kids taking whatever they want

I was married for 21 years and have been seperated for the past 3 years. My husband recently passed away and didn't have a will and our two oldest children are just taking whatever they want from the house without even asking me what I want. We had a watch business and we have amassed quite... Read more »

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Dec 9, 2020

Under the Illinois Probate Act, the intestate estate (property of a person dying without a will) is divided between the spouse and the children. The act states at 755 ILCS 5/2-1 as follows: "Sec. 2-1. Rules of descent and distribution. The intestate real and personal estate of a resident... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Illinois on
Q: RE: illinois unclaimed property of my deceased 2012 mother.

My mother's name is on the Illinois unclaimed property list, by my neglect and procrastination. Must I go through the State of Illinois/Cook County, where she resided and died, to claim this property? I would prefer to go back to the sources (Chase checking account on which I am joint holder;... Read more »

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 17, 2020

In most states once assets are escheated (turned over) to the state, that is your exclusive way to recover those assets. You must go to the state as the holders of these assets have turned them over to the state. If your state is anything like PA, this process is very detailed, complex and time... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: I have a question about estate and executor doing things he shouldn’t.

Our dad passed recently, the brother who is the executor has taken assets without the other siblings consent and sold them or is keeping them and not returning them. He is not following what is supposed to be done. We need to know what we should do, tried talking to him but he ignores us and is... Read more »

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 17, 2020

You need to immediately retain an estate litigation attorney to bring an action for his immediate removal for breach of his fiduciary duty as executor and for him to make a complete accounting. A surcharge action needs to brought against him for losses that the estate has incurred by him stealing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Executor of estate is possibly going against what is written in the will.

My father recently passed away. One of the siblings is the executor, but my other sister and I feel that the other sister is going against what the will says. She’s not letting us in the house, (we fear she’s already taken things that were meant for everyone to have a fair chance to pick out... Read more »

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Nov 3, 2020

The executor is lawfully charged with the obligation and the right to marshall the estate assets. Part of the obligation of marshalling includes protecting assets. The executor would be within her rights to secure the house. Having said that, the executor is also obligated to file an inventory... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: Can my ex husband and I we setup a bank account (trust fund) for our daughter who we share 50/05 custody?

My ex husband and we will be receiving a lump sum amount for a settlement. It will be split 3 ways our child is a minor and would like to setup a account where both parents would need to be present to be able withdraw funds and show proof for what it would be used for. If our child whether is a... Read more »

T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Oct 30, 2020

In the question itself, I think you meant to say 50/50 not 50/05.

What's the difference if it's you ex or stranger, you are setting-up a trust account for your daughter.

It seems she will be the beneficiary of the Trust. It all comes down to the Trust Agreement to protect...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois on
Q: My mother passed and there is no will, my sisters and I agree to sell the home and split the money, how do we do that?

My mom had nothing in writing, but the 3 kids are in agreement to sell the home and split the money, how do we do this? I actually want to buy my sisters out. I am currently living in the home, I moved in to pay the bills while mom was to be in a nursing home for an indefinite amount of time, she... Read more »

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Oct 5, 2020

If a decedent passes without a will and the estate has a value exceeding $100,000, then you need to open an estate and someone must be appointed as the Administrator of the intestate estate. There is a slew of information the court will want at the beginning stages in order to determine who should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Illinois on
Q: Do I have to appear in IL estate court if I get a subpoena during covid while concerned for mine & spouse's health?

I received a supoena for IL estate court for my deceased father's estate & and I am concerned for my health (asthmatic) & my spouse at home with prexisting health issues. If I raise this concern, can I be relieved from attending?

Cheryl Powell
Cheryl Powell answered on Oct 4, 2020

Call the lawyer that subpoenaed you. Or the Circuit Clerk's office in the county where you are supposed to testify. Ask if you can appear by zoom instead. Although you are in Benton, I am not sure in what county you are supposed to testify. We have Zoom court for most civil things in... Read more »

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