When an Illinois resident executes an estate plan to distribute his or her assets to various family members or others, documents may be customized to suit individual wishes and long-term goals. For instance, many estate owners include advanced medical directives in their plans because they want or do not want certain types of care and wish to place their instructions in writing in case they become incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves during urgent medical situations. Where heirs and beneficiaries are concerned, problems may arise if one or more parties contest a will.
A final will and testament can also be written according to an estate owner’s personal wishes. Sadly, this often leads to family disputes when those standing to inherit property, money or other assets feel they’ve been given the short end of the stick or have not been given something to which they are legally entitled. Although having a written estate plan often helps prevent such disputes, it is no guarantee because many extenuating circumstances can arise that complicate matters.
An example of this might be if someone comes forward claiming to be a biological child of a deceased estate owner. In many situations, this would create entitlement to a portion (or all) of an inheritance. Then too, there have been recent situations (such as that which occurred following famed comedian Jerry Lewis’s death) where a parent specifically disinherits a particular child or children or fails to mention that a child exists.
When heirs and beneficiaries fight over estates, it can take a long time to rectify such situations in court. A great asset to have on hand at such times is an experienced estate and probate administration law attorney, such as one of the legal professionals at Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe, LLP. Anyone facing a particular estate plan problem in Lake Forest, Illinois, or any of the surrounding areas may seek a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys before heading to court.