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December 2019 Archives

Probate litigation: Stan Lee's heir wants intellectual property

The passing of comic book icon Stan Lee left many fans in Illinois and across the country grieving a great loss but also admiring a tremendous legacy. Lee's work will continue to be enjoyed by comic book enthusiasts for decades to come. His creative contributions to the comic book world left quite a legacy. Lee's heir, a daughter who was designated as a trustee to the Lee Family Survivor's Trust, has initiated probate litigation regarding her late father's intellectual property.

Should you set up a living trust?

As 2019 nears its end and Illinois residents and others start planning for a new year, many people will decide it is time to execute their estate plans. The estate planning process can be simple or complex, depending on a particular estate owner's circumstances, needs and ultimate goals. Those who are trying to determine whether they should include a living trust in their portfolio will want to keep reading, as this post includes basic information that may be helpful.

Heirs and beneficiaries: These are not interchangeable terms

Illinois estate owners, as well as anyone who believes he or she is legally entitled to assets from a deceased person's estate, will want to seek clarification on numerous legal terms. For instance, many people confuse the terms heirs and beneficiaries, mistakenly believing they can be used interchangeably; they cannot. In other words, being an heir does not necessarily mean that one is a beneficiary or vice versa.

What should trigger an estate plan review?

Your estate plan isn't something that you can create and then just forget about. You should review it periodically to ensure that it adequately reflects your wishes. On top of a regularly scheduled review, you also have to check it when there are significant changes in your circumstances.

Can pets be named as heirs and beneficiaries?

Pets are often considered family members by those who own them. In Illinois and throughout the country, people commonly refer to their pets as "fur babies," and often experience intense grief when a cat, dog, bird or other beloved pet dies. On the flip side, numerous legal issues can arise if the pet owner dies, as well. In fact, many people wonder if they can name pets as heirs and beneficiaries in their last wills and testaments.

Learn about common estate planning errors so you can avoid them

There are several topics that many Illinois readers might consider issues to avoid talking about, especially when they're gathered with family members, friends or co-workers. Religion, politics and estate planning are often considered topics to avoid. Some people simply do not like to think about their own immortality. Others may feel they don't have enough knowledge about such issues to discuss them intelligently.

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