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October 2018 Archives

Resolving estate problems when heirs and beneficiaries disagree

When an Illinois estate owner executes a final will and testament, updates and changes can be made as needed, provided the estate owner is of sound mind and wishes to do so. Once he or she passes from this life, however, the terms of the final will and testament, as written before death, must be carried out. If heirs and beneficiaries disagree, things can get quite complicated.

How to prevent family rivalries over your estate

We take the time to design a sound and fair estate plan for the benefit of our families. That's why the idea that our families could break apart into fighting and squabbles after we pass away is such a disheartening one. Even though disagreement is common after a death in the family, there are some things we can do in our estate plans to avoid such an outcome.

Updates are key to successful estate planning and administration

Estate owners in Illinois and beyond typically want to do whatever they can to help their loved ones avoid legal problems when the time comes to administer their estates. The estate planning and administration process is able to be customized to fit a particular person's needs and ultimate goals. A key part of the customization process has to do with updating an existing plan as needed.  

Heirs and beneficiaries of James Brown lock horns over legacy

Soul music icon James Brown entertained rock and roll music fans in Illinois and throughout the nation for decades. At the age of 73, the "Godfather of Soul" passed away in 2006. Since then, those who believe themselves to be his lawful heirs and beneficiaries have been engaged in a contentious battle in probate court. The situation has only escalated in the past 12 years, and several cases are now headed for federal court.  

2Pac estate administration litigation finally resolved

Rap music fans in Illinois and elsewhere no doubt recall the death of a man who was once held in high honor as an industry icon. On stage, he went by the name 2Pac and in the wake of his death, a legal battle ensued that took five years to resolve. The mother of 2Pac is the one who initially filed the estate administration claim against the Entertainment One company regarding unreleased music of her son.  

Trust beneficiaries: Does your trust have a fraudulent trustee?

Trusts are named "trusts" because they create a legal contract that the trust creator and his or her beneficiaries rely on. This legal contract lays out specific instructions, and names a trustee who is legally bound to follow those instructions -- all for the benefit of one or more parties: the beneficiaries.

What if someone tries to keep wills and trusts secret?

In Illinois and all other states, executors and trustees have fiduciary duties toward certain others. When someone has a fiduciary obligation, he or she must act on behalf of the estate owner in question in an honorable and transparent manner. This would, of course, include keeping all heirs and beneficiaries informed regarding wills and trusts or litigation pertinent to an inheritance.

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