Probate & Trust Administration
The loss of a loved one is a stressful time for any family. Our attorneys and paralegals have extensive experience with advising both individual and corporate executors under wills and trustees under revocable living trusts and other types of trusts. We work closely with the executor to commence probate proceedings in the DuPage, Cook, and outlying county courts and advise the executor at all points during the process, always with sensitivity to changing family relationships. We also work with trustees on all issues related to the appropriate administration of the trust. As part of the process, we assist with:
- Interpretation of complex provisions of wills and trust documents;
- Assistance with locating, safeguarding, collecting and distributing assets of all kinds, as well as identifying and dealing with claims against the estate (decedent’s outstanding debts, administration expenses and potential claims);
- Documentation of date of death values for all assets and determination of questions regarding income tax basis for inherited assets;
- Corresponding with the beneficiaries under the will or trust to provide information, facilitate good relationships with the executor or trustee and negotiate issues that may arise, such as a beneficiary’s right to information and the timing and amount of distribution of assets;
- Post-death tax planning and preparation of federal and state estate tax returns as needed;
- Fiduciary (estate and trust) income tax planning and assistance with preparation of fiduciary income tax returns;
- Assisting surviving spouses and other relatives with numerous practical issues arising from the decedent’s death; and
- Advising regarding a trustee’s duties and responsibilities under the Illinois statutes and case law and negotiating with beneficiaries and other parties regarding disputes, with the goal of avoiding litigation and facilitating the smooth transfer of assets.
We also advise trustees of irrevocable life insurance, gift and charitable trusts regarding financial matters, complex issues regarding distribution of income and principal, accountings and tax planning to efficiently achieve trust objectives. Our goal is to settle decedents’ estates and assist with the administration of trusts with efficiency and professionalism.