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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.

If an heir is aware of the contents of a final will and believes that he or she has not been treated fairly regarding inheritance, the time to do something about it is while the benefactor is still living. For instance, a son or daughter can speak to a father and ask whether he would consider changing his will. A man in another state is considering doing this because he believes his sister will receive more money than he will after his father dies.

The man is his father's primary caretaker. In fact, he says he gave up a well-paying job at his father's request to offer around-the-clock support. He is currently upset about the fact that his father's final will currently designates his sister as executor; it also states that he himself is only to receive 30 percent of his father's estate, while his sister gets 50 percent and another sibling gets 20 percent.

The man feels that, since he has carried the full burden of care and support for his father, he should have a greater portion of inheritance. He also noted that both his brother and sister earn substantial incomes and are not in need of money, whereas he basically has no viable income because he gave it up to care for his father. If heirs and beneficiaries disagree, it may be possible to challenge the person designated as an executor; it is also possible, if the estate owner is still alive, to discuss the matter with him or her to request that a change be made.

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