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Probate refers to the process by which property is transferred by a court or a judge. After a person passes, his or her property may need to be transferred by a court. The process of opening an estate for a deceased person’s property and then transferring the property to individuals or charitable organizations is probate. The probate process can be very simple, or it can be very complex if the heirs of a deceased person are in conflict. Proper estate planning can help an individual’s family avoid probate and minimize conflict.

Wills and Trusts

Wills and Trusts are documents that instruct your loved ones after you die or become disabled. A will is the written declaration of a person’s intentions as to the disposition of his or her property taking effect at death. A will governs and distributes only “probate property.” A trust is an agreement with respect to the management of assets. A trust may govern property and actions that are not typically considered “probate property.”

Powers of Attorney

One way that an individual can protect themselves against exploitation as they age is to create an estate plan. A well-crafted Estate Plan includes power of attorney documents. In power of attorney documents, you name an agent that can make decisions for you. For example, in a “Power of Attorney for Property”, you name an agent who can make decisions regarding your finances. Likewise, in a “Power of Attorney for Healthcare”, you name an agent who can make decisions for your health care and for your end of life care.

Estate Litigation

Estate litigation is similar to other types of civil litigation, with several key differences. Specifically, the probate court is governed by the Illinois Probate Act, which has special time limitations relating to the filing of claims or actions. Therefore, it is essential that you retain and attorney who understands the unique rules that govern contested claims in the probate court, as quickly as possible.

Estate Planning and Probate Services:

  • Creation of estate plans including wills, trusts and power of attorney documents.
  • Assisting individuals in the proper administration of a loved one’s probate estate.
  • Representation of trustee’s in connection with their duties to the trust beneficiaries.
  • Representation of court-appointed guardians of disabled individuals.
  • Litigating disputes related to a deceased’s loved ones assets.
  • Representation of beneficiaries in actions against trustees for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Will contests.
  • Guardianship litigation.
  • Claims against probate estates.

Please contact Hays Firm LLC for an estate lawyer to help you set up your own  plan or discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding a dispute related to a deceased or disabled individual’s assets. You may contact the firm at(312) 626-2537 or via e-mail.

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