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.
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.
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.
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.
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.