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Illinois Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: My dad passed away without a will he was a famous photographer. Who would get his copy right me his daughter or my uncle

We are fighting over the copy right. I have his dna but he never knew me he was my dad. He was madly in love with my mother. My uncle and my mother have stated after dna test that he is my father… he lived in California. San Jose. Also who would get his life insurance?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on May 8, 2022

This is actually a probate question, not a copyright question. You should consult a probate attorney in California.

Without a will or trust, the law of "intestate succession" governs who inherits. California is a "community property" state., so all the decedent's...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: My dad passed away with no will. My grandparents are keeping his property

They are preventing me from filing an affadavit of heirship.

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Mar 16, 2022

Just to be clear, affidavits of heirship are filed in conjunction with a petition to open an estate. If your grandparents have filed such a petition, you can appear in that case and let the court know where you stand and provide the court with relevant facts. If no such petition has been filed,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: Can you petition to change executor of will & can home improv be paid from assets prior to probate?

Will from 1983 & beneficiaries would agree to whomever the change would be. Party in question is incapacitated but home needs work before can sell for probate.

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady answered on Feb 14, 2022

The short answer to your question is "yes."

The longer answer is that the executor's duty is to "carry out the wishes of the decedent," acting in the utmost good faith to protect the interests of the beneficiaries, "exercising at the very least that degree of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: What can the disabled ward do? When the ward and guardian disagree? What options does the ward have
Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Jan 17, 2022

A Ward has the opportunity to seek to restore himself or herself at any time. This request can be made to the Judge directly or to the Guardian ad Litem (if one was appointed). Though it's not required, it would aide the Judge in making a determination that your circumstances have changed so... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: Hello, My wife's mother passed away a week ago. My wife has been estranged from her family for several years.

We are unsure if there is a will. How do we find out if there is one? My wife's sister is currently living in the house my mother in-law owned. There is life insurance policies, bank accounts and other assets. If there is no will and we are not on speaking terms with her sister, how do we go... Read more »

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Jan 14, 2022

John, I'm sorry to hear what you're all going through.

In Illinois, wills are required to be signed and witnessed by two people. If there is a will, all wills need to be filed in the county in which the Decedent resided within 30 days of death. If there is a valid will, and it...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: Mom passed away,had no will. Brother is on the house deed with her, can he keep the house, how can he transfer car title

She put him on the deed last year, can he transfer the car into his name? There are 3 siblings but we have all decided everything is his we do not want anything. The small estate affidavit states there can be no property. He can not even get the mlney out of her bank account to settle some of her... Read more »

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Jan 12, 2022

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom; I hope you're all hanging in there.

If the property was owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, your brother is now the sole owner. A small estate affidavit can then be used to transfer other property, so long as it's cumulative...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: My great grandmother had land in Puerto Rico and passed in the 1970s. Do we still have claim on the land?

My great grandmother had land in Puerto Rico and passed in the 1970s. She left deed to my grandma and her sister, her only children. Both passed within last ten years and we uncovered the deed to the land. What rightful claim is there to the land? We visited it and saw it was empty.

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Jan 11, 2022

This is a great question, but it should be asked of a lawyer licensed to practice in Puerto Rico. I strongly encourage you to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: my brother and father have the same named. my father died. while mom was on vacation he moved into her house. he won't

leave. told a friend he was taking the house when she passes. can he?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Aug 18, 2021

No, he can't unless your mother leaves it to him in a will or she transfers the property to him through a deed or other conveyance.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: How can I deposit a check I received from my deceased father when the check is made out to the estate of his name?

I received this check after I was named Executor of my father's estate by the probate court.

Then what happens after opening an account with the check? If my dad has no outstanding debt?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 4, 2021

You need to open a bank account for the estate. To do that, you will need a federal tax id number for the estate and the letters testamentary from the court appointing you as executor. After opening that bank account, you can deposit the check into the estate bank account.

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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 »

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?
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Jun 5, 2021

Without knowing the specific facts it is hard to tell what is going on here. For example, if your dad had transferred the real estate to her during his lifetime, then she is within her rights to sell the property as she is the rightful owner. You could check with the Recorder of Deeds in the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Illinois on
Q: My mother lent my brother 55k dollars to pay for his divorce 15 yrs ago. He only paid her back about 29k before he died.

As part of the divorce settlement, he kept the condo in Chicago. He remarried 2 years ago, but didnt put his wife's name on the property. He was literally at the condo getting it ready to sell when he died (massive heart attack). He did not have a will, so his current wife contact 2 lawyers... Read more »

Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Apr 26, 2021

Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I hope you're all hanging in there.

In Illinois, if your brother didn't have children, his assets (that don't name a beneficiary or joint owner) would pass to his wife. If there was a probate proceeding,...
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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 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...
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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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Probate and Small Claims for Illinois on
Q: How to get letter of administration?
Erik K Jacobs
Erik K Jacobs answered on Nov 19, 2020

In order to receive Letters of Administration, you must first open a Probate Estate. I'm assuming that the decedent did not have a will, so you will be opening an intestate estate. You will need to provide an Affidavit of Heirship, an Oath and Bond, a Petition to Probate the Intestate Estate... 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 Banking, Contracts, Small Claims and Probate for Illinois on
Q: How to get letter of administration for wife whose husband died for the mortgage bank, for specific info, letter needed

The lake county clerk’s office said they are not giving those out letters out which is impossible

T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Nov 16, 2020

A petition, affidavit, consent of the remaining heirs and other papers need to be filed with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court. Once the Probate Judge reviews all of the papers and they are in good order, he/she will make the appointment of independent administer.

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