No matter how cautious, diligent and thorough an Illinois estate owner is in his or her planning, if heirs or beneficiaries wish to contest the will, it can spark probate litigation. Many celebrities have died without signing a last will and testament, which is also a situation that often leads to probate litigation. There are also often legal problems when someone claims that an estate owner was not of sound mind when a will or trust was signed.
Fans of Chris Cornell in Illinois and across the world mourned the former rocker's sudden, unexpected death in 2018. The cause of death was listed as a suicide. While numerous types of drugs were found in his blood according to toxicology test results, the musician had apparently died by hanging himself, and the drugs did not cause his death. Now, Cornell's widow and ex-wife are involved in a dispute regarding his estate valued at $20 million that could wind up in probate litigation.
When an Illinois resident dies, his or her property may be transferred through a court process. Probate litigation can take a long time, which is why many people prepare estate plans to help their loved one avoid it. Most people who want to avoid probate specifically want to avoid the fees commonly associated with it.
Many Illinois residents are adult children of parents who have divorced and remarried. Stepparent/child relationships can be complicated, and in cases of a biological parent's death, problems may arise that lead to probate litigation. Such is the case regarding former rock and roll icon Tom Petty's estate.
The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, delighted music fans in Illinois and throughout the world for many decades. Her private life, however, was something of a mystery, as made evident after her death when numerous legal issues surfaced regarding her estate. Probate litigation continues, as answers are sought regarding questions surrounding three handwritten wills that were reportedly found in the late singer's home.
While most Illinois estate owners might hope that their estate plans are solid, with clearly defined terms, any number of issues can arise when it comes time to settle an estate. Probate litigation becomes a necessity when a provision of a last will and testament, a particular appointment of a person or modification of a will is challenged. Issues involving heirs or beneficiaries, tax information or trusts can be highly complex and difficult to resolve.
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.