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Avoid the contention these heirs and beneficiaries have faced

If adult children in Illinois are named as heirs in a parent's will, it is logical to assume they would hope to avoid legal obstacles when the time comes to administer their loved one's estate. In the past, several celebrities have taken legal steps to protect their assets and provide for their family after they're gone. The problem is that things do not always turn out as they might have hoped. In fact, there are numerous cases of heirs and beneficiaries battling it out in court.

Former Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn left a storage locker filled with memorabilia from her successful, long-running acting career. She reportedly left instructions that her two sons should divide the contents of the locker between them. While such instructions seem to be simple enough to carry out, problems arose in this case when the two brothers disagreed on how to interpret a fair division.

Those who wish to help their loved ones avoid similar problems will want to be quite specific regarding terms in their last will and testament. If there are items of financial value in question, an estate owner is wise to specifically designate each item to a particular person or people. Former actor/comedian Robin Williams also left instructions regarding a trust he had started for his children.

This case is also hindered by probate litigation because Williams' wife at the time of his death and his children disagree about numerous legal issues concerning the late celebrity's estate. For one, his widow's attorney says the documents Williams signed before he died are out of date, and the terms contained therein are vague as well. Illinois residents who wish to help their heirs and beneficiaries avoid legal disputes can make sure their estate plans are clearly and thoroughly written. While it is possible to execute a plan on one's own, it is far better to seek support from an attorney who is experienced in the estate planning and administration laws of this state.

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