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November 2018 Archives

Probate litigation: Things to know about challenging a will

There are numerous reasons why someone may want to challenge a will. There are also several reasons why he or she would not be permitted to do so. For any man or woman considering probate litigation, it is critical to first seek clarification of any and all regulations that may apply to a particular situation.

Income tax filings after death: Important information

Whenever someone dies, the estate needs to settle the decedent's outstanding debts -- including taxes -- before the remaining proceeds can be distributed. This means that the estate executor must fill out and submit to the IRS the final Form 1040, which will cover all taxes owed by the decedent from the date of Jan. 1 until the date of death. If the decedent died in 2018, then the tax filing is due by the standard 2019 filing date for 2018 taxes.

When the main goal is to avoid probate litigation

Illinois estate owners may be able to help their loved ones avoid future problems by transferring assets outside of the probate process. Probate litigation often leads to months or years of entangled courtroom battles, which also often leads to contention between family members. Such problems often cause irreparable rifts where siblings or other relatives stop speaking to each other.

Man considering probate litigation against his stepfather

When an Illinois estate owner executes a plan that includes provisions regarding a home -- in particular, who might live in it when the time comes to administer the estate, it often specifies the name of a spouse, adult child or other family member. It seems like it should all be relatively simple, meaning the person listed in a final will as being permitted to live in a house does so and everyone is happy. That is not always how things work out, however, especially if another family member is not satisfied with the situation. A man in another state recently wrote to an advice column to ask whether or not he has grounds to pursue probate litigation against his stepfather.

Millionaire's heirs and beneficiaries are battling over her death

A retired school teacher in another state who is now deceased was married to a scientist (also now deceased) who pioneered studies of cloning. Following her husband's successful and prestigious scientific career, the former teacher's estate was worth more than $5 million when she died. The woman's heirs and beneficiaries are now battling, not only over her estate but also over her actual death.

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