Some Illinois residents hesitate to execute estate plans for various reasons, often including the fact that they feel overwhelmed when thinking of all the issues they will need to resolve. Others simply do not like to discuss their own mortality or think about the possibility that they could one day become incapacitated and unable to make financial or medical decisions for themselves. However, many people, especially those who want to help their loved ones avoid probate litigation, would rather be proactive in organizing their own assets than leaving all such decisions to a probate court.
Illinois rock and roll fans joined others throughout the country and across the world in mourning the sudden, unexpected loss of music icon Tom Petty. The former superstar's 2017 death sparked many a debate about prescription drug addiction. As often happens when celebrities die suddenly, it also prompted probate litigation between his then current wife and two daughters from a previous relationship.
A legal battle has arisen in another state regarding the estate of a real estate mogul who was found unresponsive on her living room couch. Her cause of death was determined as an opioid overdose. Since her passing, her former boyfriend and her surviving family members are entangled in probate litigation. The boyfriend is also now facing criminal charges related to the situation.
A young man in another state says that legal problems surrounding an inheritance that is due to him have taken up the last five years of his life. He has reportedly survived a harrowing experience as well, when he and his mother were on a fishing trip a few years back and his boat sunk, leaving his mother lost at sea. That incident and the death of the man's grandfather have become intertwined in accusations against him, claiming he caused both deaths in order to gain millions of dollars in inheritance. Those accusations are now a central focus of probate litigation proceedings.
If an Illinois resident names you as executor of his or her estate, you'll want to learn as much ahead of time about the estate administration to help you avoid problems when the time comes to carry out your duties. A high priority for most executors is knowing how to avoid probate litigation, which can be a complicated, time-consuming, stressful process. In this state, all probate matters are handled in the circuit court of the county where the decedent in question resided at the time of his or her death.
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.
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.
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.
W. Marvin Rush, II, built the largest commercial truck enterprise in the United States. With 100 truck centers spanning more than 20 states, Rush left a legacy when he died that included shares worth more than $70 million at the close of a recent stock market day. The problem is that his widow, who happened to have been his third wife, and his son, W.M. Rush, III, are engaged in probate litigation that has become quite acrimonious.
Circuit court judges in Illinois oversee many cases involving disputes regarding executors of estates as well as numerous other aspects related to the estate administration process. Such judges are called upon to issue rulings in probate litigation when a person or group of people challenge a last will and testament. When an objection is filed, the litigation process helps the court determine whether or not the decedent in question was of sound mind when he or she signed a will and whether someone intentionally interfered with the execution of an estate plan or somehow caused duress or wrongful influence upon the estate owner.