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Experienced Chicago, Illinois Trusts, Estates & Wills Attorney

In a will, people express, in writing, what they want done with their property after they die. Most states require wills to be signed by the testator and witnessed by two people. “Probate” is a court proceeding in which final debts are settled and legal title to property is formally passed from the deceased person or “decedent” to his heirs. Probate proceedings take place in the probate court or surrogate court in the county of the decedent’s legal residence at the time of his death.

Trusts and estates is the name given to the branch of civil law that covers decedents’ estates and probate; wills and intestacy; estates and future interests in property; trusts, gifts, and powers; annuities; and charitable bequests. Probate covers admission of a will to probate and the subsequent proceedings, including the appointment and duties of a personal representative, procedures in probate, and ancillary proceedings. Intestacy, on the other hand, refers to the general rules governing the disposition of the property of someone who dies intestate, i.e., without a will, or who leaves a will that fails to dispose of all assets.

With more than 50 years of experience, attorney Stuart T. Edelstein possesses in-depth knowledge about all aspects of trusts and estate issues, including:

  • Estate planning
  • Estate tax issues
  • Executorship duties
  • Guardianship
  • Living wills
  • Living trusts
  • Probate
  • Probate and will disputes
  • Will drafting and execution

Estate planning
Stuart T. Edelstein, Ltd. can advise you on the best approach to your estate planning. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, supporting personal philanthropic causes, and protecting your loved ones. We can draft a will that reflects your desires and establish living trusts, if beneficial to your estate.

Draft your living will and last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your living will sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.

Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet – making decisions that might not reflect your desires.

We can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.

Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Probate
We apply our extensive knowledge about the Illinois probate court to guide you through the complex process of probating a will. We assist executors in all steps of the process, including:

  • Creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously
  • Filing the will with the Illinois probate court
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Valuating the estate
  • Managing and liquidating assets as appropriate
  • Paying taxes and other debts
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Hiring professionals and experts when necessary

Probate disputes
When disputes occur between beneficiaries, we successfully represent your interests. We have the extensive knowledge to challenge invalid wills or to defend valid wills against the improper assertions of dissatisfied beneficiaries. As a skilled mediator and litigator, attorney Stuart T. Edelstein can negotiate between beneficiaries to preserve relationships or diligently pursue your rights in court when necessary.

Contact a meticulous estate planning lawyer at Stuart T. Edelstein, Ltd.
Call Stuart T. Edelstein, Ltd. at 312-606-0000 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.