If someone in Illinois dies after signing a last will and testament, someone else, such as the decedent's spouse or other immediate family member may stand to inherit a portion or all of his or her estate. State laws vary regarding heirs and beneficiaries. That is why it is always helpful to speak with someone well-versed in estate planning issues in this state, if one has questions or concerns about a particular inheritance situation.
Everyone is eventually going to die. While many Illinois residents would rather not talk about their own mortality, others understand that doing so can help them execute strong estate plans that allows them to choose how their assets will be distributed when the time comes to administer their estates. Even in closely-knitted families, disagreements often arise among heirs and beneficiaries, especially if the estate owners in question did not take steps to help them prepare.
Illinois high school football fans often gather under stadium lights during annual seasons, cheering on their favorite teams. Many high schools play football or host other activities on land or in buildings that exist thanks to donations from benefactors who are now deceased. In fact, a school in another state plays all its home games on property that was donated by a local married couple in 1927. A legal problem has arisen regarding the land, and the heirs of the estate are speaking out against school officials, who have filed a lawsuit to gain control of the land.
Many Illinois residents and those in other states who inherit property or money often encounter legal challenges when they set out to claim what they are entitled to receive. The heirs of former reggae singer Bob Marley have been entangled in a legal dispute regarding a trademark issue. An appellate court judge recently ruled on the matter and upheld an earlier federal court decision, which has reportedly greatly pleased the Marley heirs.
A situation regarding ownership of an 11-acre island has been ongoing for decades now. Illinois landowners planning their estates may want to take note of this case to help their heirs avoid similar problems in the future. A key factor in this particular situation appears to be the way the estate owner worded things (or failed to stipulate them) in her last will and testament.
Many Illinois residents avoid discussions about mortality, which is not atypical, as most people would rather think of something other than the fact that they are going to die someday. However, executing a solid estate plan while you're of sound mind can have many benefits. One of the most important things you can do by planning ahead is help your heirs and beneficiaries avoid probate trouble.
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.
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.
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.
Illinois estate owners, in particular those who are parents, have no way of knowing how their loved ones will act once they die. While no one wants to think that his or her heirs and beneficiaries will fight over the belongings the estate owner leaves behind, it occurs far more often than might be expected and can lead to permanent rifts between family members. There are several ways to help loved ones avoid such problems, however.