Probate Lawyer Palatine, IL

Probate Lawyer Palatine, IL

If you’re in need of a Palatine, Illinois probate lawyer to help you probate an estate, Bott & Associates, Ltd can assist you in what is often a complicated process. Our firm can take the burden off of you and handle the legal procedures that are required for the division of an estate. For a complimentary consultation with a probate lawyer, please call Bott & Associates, Ltd.

What Is a Probate Lawyer?

A probate lawyer helps you manage the process of creating a will and can also help your beneficiaries after you pass. They help the executor of the estate and the beneficiaries (people stated on your will) or the administrators (if there is no will) manage the process after your death. A probate attorney can also help you with the drafting of a will, drafting a trust, and creating a power of attorney.

Finding a Probate Lawyer

Handling the probate process can seem very straightforward and easy but the reality is the law is always complex. It is made complicated on purpose, and at Bott & Associates, Ltd., we want to help simplify things. We have years of experience handling probate cases. Our job is to make this process as smooth and simple as possible. We have handled all types of probate cases, from simpler cases that have a will to cases without a will.

Make the Probate Process Simpler with a Probate Lawyer

Bott & Associates, Ltd. is here to make the probate process easier and stress-free. To speak with a probate lawyer Palatine, IL clients turn to, please complete the form on this site or call our office to schedule a consultation.

Who We Represent

As a probate lawyer in Palatine, IL, we represent clients who live in Illinois, as well as relatives who live out of state and were named in a will. We also represent:

  • Disabled people who cannot come to our office
  • Elders who live in nursing home facilities
  • Minor children who lost their parents
  • Clients who are disputing a will or estate plan
  • Clients who are dealing with intestate succession
  • Out of state executors

How We Can Help You

Having years of experience, a probate lawyer from our firm can advise you about any of the following:

  • Which court the petition for probate should be filed in and in which county
  • Prepare and file the petition for probate
  • Offer comprehensive support for the named executor
  • Assist in paying off creditor debts and taxes
  • Valuing and selling assets
  • Distributing assets to heirs
  • Represent clients who are contesting a will
  • Closing the estate

When There Is a Will

If there is a will, the probate process will be a bit easier. However, creating a will doesn’t allow your beneficiaries to avoid probate court altogether. They will still want to have a probate lawyer in Palatine, IL who can help them get through the process. A probate lawyer can also review your will after you create it to make sure it is valid and that no fraud was committed during the drafting.

A probate lawyer can also help when a will is challenged. This is fairly common in cases where beneficiaries disagree with how the decedent distributed their assets. When a will is challenged, the probate process can drag on for months — and sometimes even years.

Without a Will

In the instance that there is not a will previously drafted, this is called “intestate.” This means that the state claims the decedent’s property and distributes it according to state laws. This usually means that the closest living relatives will receive assets.

Unfortunately, if a will is invalid for any reason, the state may also deal with the will in a similar process. Again, this is something that can make a probate case drag on for a long time.

Will Contest and Inheritance Disputes

If you are a beneficiary or heir and believe the will should be challenged, or would like to dispute a will challenge brought by another party, you should consult a probate lawyer. In addition to assisting people with the probate process and drafting of estate plans, we protect our client’s interests and the integrity of the estate as a whole. Common reasons a will contest could occur, include, but are not limited to:

  • Forgery
  • Fraudulence
  • Undue influence
  • Lack of capacity
  • Invalid or illegal execution

A probate lawyer may also be needed when there are disputes regarding accounting, the interpretation of a will, the executor, or the right of election.

Why You Should Hire a Probate Lawyer

They Can Accelerate the Probate Process

The probate process can last from a few months to well over a year, but when you hire a probate lawyer in Palatine, IL, you can significantly reduce the amount of time this takes. Probate attorneys, such as those at Bott & Associates, LTD, will help you fill out your probate documents correctly. Incorrect documentation can cause a judge to reject your probate, which results in reworking and resubmitting your documents, lengthening the probate process. However, an attorney understands what the court is looking for and how to file your documents properly, resulting in a shorter process. In addition, you won’t have to continually fill out paperwork.

Because the process typically goes more smoothly with a probate attorney, you should be able to access your inheritance much quicker.

The Estate’s Debts Are Resolved Correctly

When someone who has debts passes away, those debts need to be paid before the estate can be distributed. A probate lawyer in Palatine, IL can help you resolve any outstanding debts. These professionals understand how to search for debts you may not know about, especially if the deceased’s financial situation was complex. In addition to outstanding debts, the beneficiaries or the estate may also have to pay income tax and final funeral expenses.

However, you don’t want to overpay the deceased’s debts. Therefore, you need access to the legal debt paperwork. This requires that you contact the deceased’s creditors and let them know that your loved one has passed. Then, you need to ask them for statements so that the debts can be paid properly. Attorneys with Bott & Associates, LTD can help you find any outstanding debts, contact creditors and get everything paid, without overpaying, so that the estate can be properly settled.

They Help Prevent Lawsuits

In many cases, at least one person will try to claim part of an estate. For example, someone in your family may not have been mentioned in the will and may be upset about not receiving anything. These individuals can make a claim against the estate if they believe it was distributed incorrectly. If these result in lawsuits, you could be looking at an expensive and time-consuming legal process.

Your probate lawyer in Palatine, IL understands how to validate and read a will. Hiring an attorney places a third party in charge of the estate’s distribution so no one can claim you used the estate for your personal gain.

Expediting the Probate Process

Probate is meant to be easy, but it is not always the case, especially when it is being overseen by an executor who has no experience in the probate process, or the will is being contested. There is no formula that can speed up the process; however, a probate lawyer can reduce the chances of error, delays, or other unforeseeable, or unnecessary, challenges.

Getting Advice from a Trusted Probate Lawyer

Whether you are the executor or the heir, you may have question about the probate process. Due to, often, intense emotions that may overwhelm those involved following a death, it is very likely that steps may be forgotten and errors made. A probate lawyer can take much of this off your shoulders so you can focus on healing. In addition to this, a probate lawyer can:

  • Assist you with any technical details
  • Address special or specific needs
  • Help you safeguard your rights and legal obligations
  • Alleviate any stress or worry

Bring Peace of Mind with a Probate Lawyer Palatine, IL Families Trust

No one likes to think about death, especially when you have a family that depends on you. However, it’s a fact of life that when you pass, you’ll leave all of your material belongings behind. The good news is that these materials assets can keep providing for your family and your loved ones even when you’re gone.

At Bott & Associates, Ltd., a probate lawyer may help to settle your debts and distribute your assets after your passing so your family doesn’t have to deal with the stress.

Disinheriting a Spouse  

Most spouses expect to inherit from each other upon their respective deaths. In some situations, for example, where there is a prenuptial agreement limiting inheritance rights, the spouses understand that even when named in the will, they will not inherit from each other. For some spouses, however, the surprise and shock of not receiving any property under a spouse’s will comes after the spouse passes away.

There can be a multitude of reasons that a spouse decides to leave a spouse out of a will and essentially disinherit that spouse. Perhaps the couple is having problems or maybe the spouse thinks that the other spouse will waste the inheritance. Regardless of the reason, under Illinois law, spouses are allowed to disinherit each other.

The law does provide some protection for a surviving spouse who is disinherited. Spouses can file a petition in court for renunciation of the will. Once a surviving spouse files this petition, and it is granted by a court, it means that the surviving spouse can claim an elective share of the deceased spouse’s estate. Therefore, the spouse can ask the court to intervene and overturn the deceased spouse’s wishes. Any spouse who is in this position should consult with a probate lawyer because of the complexities of these situations.

The elective share the surviving spouse may take from the estate of the deceased spouse depends on whether or not the deceased spouse has descendants. If the deceased spouse has surviving children, the surviving spouse only inherits a third of the estate, however, if there are no children, the surviving spouse can inherit half the estate.

A spouse, who receives some property under the will but receives much less than the spouse thought he would receive, can also seek to renounce the will. If the spouse files to renounce the will, that bars the spouse’s claim under the will. So, if the court refuses to renounce the will, the spouse loses out on the property left to him under the will.

If a spouse is truly intent on disinheriting the other spouse, there are other ways the spouse can do this, including placing most of his assets in a trust and not including the surviving spouse as a beneficiary. As a Palatine, IL probate lawyer can explain, disinherited spouses cannot renounce a trust.

Surviving spouses are also entitled to a spouse’s award from the estate. The amount that the spouse can receive is established by the laws of the state they live in. This award is supposed to support the spouse while the will is in probate. A spouse is entitled to this award whether or not the surviving spouse renounces the will.

If your spouse passed away leaving a will that disinherited you, you should take steps to secure your legal rights to your spouse’s estate. To find out more about how you can file a petition for renunciation, contact our office to set up a confidential consultation with a skilled probate lawyer today. Our legal team has extensive experience in these types of estate litigation issues and will explain what all your legal options may be.

Leaving an Inheritance for Your Adult Children – But Not Their Spouses

While there is no requirement that you leave any amount of assets for your adult children to inherit, many individuals do wish to pass on their wealth to their adult children and grandchildren, if any. Your intent is unlikely to directly leave any assets to your child’s spouse, but that does not mean that he or she will not indirectly benefit from the inheritance. The reality is that an adult child who is married is likely to share any inheritance with his or her spouse and combine it with other marital assets to use for various purposes. If you fear that your child might divorce in the future, or if you just are not a fan of your daughter-in-law or son-in-law in general, then you may want to structure your estate planning so as to prevent your child’s spouse from laying claim to your child’s inheritance. A Palatine, IL probate lawyer can help.

When Your Spouse’s Child Becomes an Indirect Beneficiary of Your Inheritance

A probate lawyer in Palatine, IL knows that one of the dangers of leaving an inheritance to a married adult child is that the child’s spouse will indirectly claim entitlement to the inheritance, one way or another. For instance, suppose your adult child passes away prematurely, which often will result in leaving your son-in-law or daughter-in-law in sole possession of any assets that belonged to your child. In this case, your child’s spouse may use the funds as he or she sees fit, which may frustrate the intent of your inheritance, particularly if you wanted the funds to go to your grandchildren.

Another problem might occur if you leave an inheritance to your child, who then, predictably, uses the assets, along with existing marital assets, to purchase a home or establish an investment account to benefit. Inevitably, this commingling of marital assets with the inheritance will indirectly benefit your child’s spouse. If the parties later divorce, however, the danger is that a divorce judge will determine that the inheritance proceeds are marital property for division between the spouses in the divorce.

Establishing a Trust

Probably the best way to leave an inheritance for your adult child while still preventing his or her spouse from indirectly benefitting from it is to establish a trust. For example, a Palatine, IL probate lawyer could help you establish a lifetime trust that allows your child to access the principal for certain purposes, such as for health expenses or education. In the event of your child’s death or divorce, then, the assets will belong to the trust, not to your child’s spouse. Upon your death, the trust’s beneficiary – your adult child – will become the trustee of the trust, which allows him or her to maintain control over the funds without actually owning them, thus continuing to avoid the death or divorce problem.

Avoiding Probate: Why Do Young Adults Need Estate Plans?

Becoming a legal adult can be a frustrating process. American schools do not generally do an excellent job of educating teens about the legal side of achieving adulthood, so many young people are unprepared for the legal responsibilities that accompany this life transition. Similarly, many are unaware of their rights as adults under the law. It is partially for this reason that it is so important to speak with an experienced estate planning and probate lawyer in Palatine, IL  when you become a legal adult. And if you are a younger adult of any age and have yet to draft an estate plan, it is just as urgent for you to schedule a consultation. Why? Because there are numerous ways that estate planning law may now affect you, your property, your medical care and your future that you are likely unaware of. An estate planning and probate lawyer in Palatine, IL can help you to navigate your rights, responsibilities and options under the law.

Young Adults: Understanding Estate Planning and Probate

At its most basic, estate planning involves planning for the end of life. This is not an easy topic to contemplate and many young adults are tempted to procrastinate in terms of estate planning because they hope that their lives will be both long and healthy. In truth, none of us knows exactly how much time we have to live. Estate planning now will ensure that should you become incapacitated by injury or illness or should you pass away, your wishes will be legally enforceable.

Estate planning is a critically important process because if you fail to create a legally enforceable will, living will and power of attorney, your medical care at the end of life and your property will both be subject to your state’s laws instead of your wishes. What does this mean practically? If you die without a legally enforceable will in place, your sentimental and financially valuable property will pass through the legal process of probate. Your estate will pass down according to state laws. Perhaps you want your best friend to receive your books upon your passing. Without a will in place, your books will pass to whomever the law insists that they must pass to. Similarly, without medically-related estate planning documentation in place, whomever the law deems appropriate will make medical decisions on your behalf, should you become too ill or injured to make those decisions yourself. Do you want the law determining what kind of care you receive or do you want to make those decisions for yourself?

Estate Planning Guidance Is Available

If you are a young adult and you have yet to create an estate plan, please consider scheduling a consultation with our firm today. Investing a minor amount of time and effort now will help to ensure that your wishes are legally enforceable and therefore ultimately respected. In addition, navigating the estate planning process now will help your loved ones avoid the challenges of the probate process in the event of your unexpected death. Thinking about leaving the world before you have lived until old age is an unquestionably challenging process. But it is critically important to plan for the unexpected in order to achieve both peace of mind because you have your affairs in order and peace of mind because should the unlikely event of early death occur, you have helped to ensure that your loved ones do not need to struggle any more than necessary with taking care of the property and assets you have left behind.

Contact Bott & Associates, Ltd.

It can be very scary to come to terms with your own mortality, but when that time does come, you’ll be glad to know that your last wishes will be carried out as you want. You may also find comfort in knowing that your loved ones won’t have to deal with excessive legal problems upon your passing.

Let Bott & Associates, Ltd. help provide you with peace of mind that the descendant’s financial assets are being protected. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation with a probate lawyer Palatine, IL clients recommend.