Share

Moms Estate

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Free At Last

Jack has distributed the proper shares of his mother’s estate to everyone she named in her Will just as he told the court he planned to in his proposed distribution.  In exchange for their shares, the heirs each signed a Receipt acknowledging that they received their rightful share as shown in the proposed distribution. 

With those receipts in hand, Jack is ready to shed his responsibilities as the personal representative named under his mother’s Will.

Jack may file those Receipts in the probate court.  After showing they correspond with his proposed distribution, Jack can obtain an order from the judge closing the case and releasing Jack from the “individual bond” he posted at the start of the case. 

With that bond, Jack had pledged double the amount of the value of his mother’s estate to guarantee he would faithfully carry out the duties of being the estate’s representative. 

To plan your estate to minimize the job of a personal representative or even eliminate probate and its costs, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current estate plan.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Finally Handing Out Money

Jack has sent out copies of his Final Accounting and Proposed Distribution to each interested party in the probate case regarding his mother’s estate.  No one objected, and the Judge reviewed the documents and approved them. 

So now Jack has an Order authorizing him to distribute as planned.  Jack cannot, however, just send out checks or sign over other property to the people his mother named in her Will and as approved by the probate court. 

He must obtain Receipts from the heirs first or at the same time he hands out the checks or signs over other property.  Usually, the heirs sign Receipts and return them to the attorney’s office. After that the checks or proper transfers are done. 

Jack must collect the Receipts, because the probate case cannot be closed and ended without filing them with the court and receiving another court order after they have been reviewed.

To plan your estate to help minimize or eliminate probate and its costs, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current plan to be sure it will accomplish your goals.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Planning to Pay Out

Jack has come up with a plan to distribute his mother’s estate to the various people she named in her Will.  He included that with the Final Accounting he prepared for the probate court supervising the administration of his mother’s estate.

Of course, that is not the end of the story.  Nobody’s actually gotten any money.  And that’s how it is supposed to be.  Before Jack can distribute the money, he must receive approval from the court to do it as planned.

To get approval, he may make a Motion for Approval of Final Accounting and Distribution.  Notice of that motion must be sent to all interested parties as shown on the list the court has for notices of its proceedings.  Among others, that list may include all heirs his mother named in the Will and Jack’s sister who will not inherit under the Will. 

Those people then have the opportunity to object at a hearing if they believe there is a problem with the plan or Jack’s records.

To plan your estate to help minimize or eliminate probate and its costs, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current plan to be sure it will accomplish your goals.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The $64,000 Questions

Jack has now detailed the money he started with, took in and spent from the assets his mother held at her death in the Accounting he will submit to the probate court as the personal representative appointed in her Will.  Now comes the part a few others may be a bit more interested in. 

Jack should propose a distribution to heirs in his final Accounting.  He should state what he thinks about how much money and what specific other assets each person named in his mother’s Will should be given as his or her inheritance. 

If all assets have been liquidated into cash, he merely determines how much money each person is entitled to according to the way his mother wrote her Will.  If he has kept some stock or has not sold her home, he may decide to give each heir items equivalent in value to the amount of money they would be entitled to, using the appraisals and evaluations he obtained earlier. 

To plan your estate to help minimize some the formality of probate or eliminate probate and its costs, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current plan to be sure it will accomplish your goals.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Future Gift After Death

Last week, Jack learned he had a duty as his mother’s executor under her Will to contest the $3,000 claim Robin filed in his mother’s probate case.  Jack’s mother had told Robin that she was going to repay her for her neighborly kindnesses with several thousand dollars but didn’t write it in her Will.

As we explained last week, Jack’s mother’s promise to Robin to make a future gift is not a valid estate claim under Illinois law.  To contest Robin’s claim, Jack must file a formal legal document called a pleading within 30 days of the filing of her claim. 

In his pleading, he should set out the reasons why he believes her claim is not valid.  It will then be set for hearing with the probate court judge, or a jury can be demanded.  

Robin will be required to prove that her claim is valid.  If she cannot, as would likely happen here, the court will disallow her claim, and Jack will not need to pay Robin.

Only completed gifts or those detailed in a valid estate plan, such as a Will or a Trust, are supposed to be paid after your death. 

For advice about an estate plan that fulfills all the promises you wish to honor, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current plan to be sure it will accomplish your goals.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It Won't Fly

Jack’s mother had a very kind neighbor, Robin, who often brought her soup, sandwiches and sweets for lunch.  Sometimes, Jack’s mom would tell Robin that she was someday going to repay her for her kindness with several thousand dollars.  Robin always assumed she would be included in her Will.

After Jack’s mother died, Robin filed a claim in her estate for the three thousand dollars she was promised, because she wasn’t named in the Will. 

As the personal representative under his mother’s Will, Jack has a duty to examine each claim to decide whether it is valid.  If it is, he should pay the claim and report it in his Accounting.  If it’s not, he should challenge it. 

Jack realizes he should dispute Robin’s claim, because, according to Illinois case law, his mother’s promise to Robin to make a future gift does not adequately support a claim against his mother’s estate. 

Filing a claim in an estate does not mean it will necessarily be paid. 

For advice about an estate plan that actually fulfills all the promises you wish to honor, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment to begin planning or to review your current plan to be sure it will accomplish your goals.  ©2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still More Pennies

Jack, as personal representative under his mother’s Will,  has been working on an Accounting as required by probate court procedures.  Last week, he listed the net proceeds of each asset he has sold since her death, all the income he’s received on her assets and the net value of all assets he still has.

His Accounting must also show what he has spent since her death, as well for what purpose he spent the money.  So Jack lists the debts and expenses, including taxes, he has paid out with her assets and income. 

The court is particularly interested in making sure that all his mother’s legitimate creditors were paid before any money goes to the people she named in her Will.  So Jack’s Accounting must also satisfy the court that all timely, valid claims of creditors have somehow been resolved - by being paid, settled or withdrawn.

The good record keeping Jack set up at the beginning, including the new account in the name of his mother’s estate certainly helps immensely with furnishing what the court with the information it needs to approve his work.

For guidance on setting up your own estate to be easier for your family to handle or help organizing any estate you are called upon to handle, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Penny Counting

Jack, as personal representative under his mother’s Will, has been working on an Accounting as required by probate court procedures.  Last week, he listed each asset in her estate and reported the income on it.

He also must show the sale price of any assets he sold and the valuation of any he has chosen not to sell.  For example, he decided not to sell the Apple stock she owned, because he thinks it will continue to go up in value and can be easily divided equally between the heirs. 

In his Accounting, then, he must show the value of that stock on the date of his mother’s death. 

The Accounting must list any liens against estate assets, such as the mortgage on her home. Then, Jack must show the sale price of her house, the payment of the mortgage, and the expenses of sale.

As you can see, it is fortunate that Jack is very good with organizing details, because the court can be quite interested in them. 

For guidance on simplifying the paperwork required in probate after your death – or even eliminating the court part of probate – call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  We can help you follow through on the details of the estate you may be handling.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Every Penny Counted

Jack, as personal representative (executor) under his mother’s Will, submitted an inventory to the court after he tracked down all his mother’s assets.  Over the last several months, he has worked at liquidating and investing those assets according to the prudent investor rule. 

He has also gathered information about and paid his mother’s debts as well as the expenses of administering her estate.  With all that work, he has accumulated quite a number of documents and records.  The probate court really doesn’t want to see them all.

What the court wants is a detailed summary of his work before he distributes each heir’s inheritance.  He makes that summary through a formal report called an Accounting.

In the Accounting, he begins by specifying each asset listed in his Inventory and reports any income received on it, including the proceeds of selling it, or its value if he has chosen not to sell it.

There are some ways to avoid probate or eliminate some of its requirements for your own estate.  For advice your estate planning options to reduce or eliminate probate requirements, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rules for a Prudent Man

Last week, Jack realized that he needed to act as a “prudent man” in carrying out his duties as the personal representative/executor of his mother’ estate.  And when it comes to prudent investing, the probate laws even have a list of investments that are deemed acceptable and authorized without special authority. 

Specifically, the statute lists seven government-guaranteed investments, such as U.S. savings bonds, certificates of deposit or savings accounts with federally-insured banks, for examples, or money market funds that invest only in the seven listed types of securities. 

In 1995, a less specific and broader investment was added to the list.  Estate assets may be invested in mutual funds even if they invest in other types of securities, provided the mutual fund meets the standard of the prudent investor rule.

You can expand or further limit the acceptable range of investments for your executor in your will or successor trustee of your trust. You should make sure that the person you choose has enough guidance and latitude provided in your will or trust (trusts have a different statute) to handle your assets as you would want. 

To learn about your estate planning options, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prudent Jack

Jack never thought he’d see the day that he would want to describe himself as a “prudent” man.  But the day is here due to his work as executor, or personal representative, of his mother’s estate under her Will.

In taking care of his duties as personal representative, he must “exercise the diligence that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under like circumstances in his own affairs,” according to Illinois case law.  In the words of another case, Jack must perform his “responsibilities with the degree of skill and diligence which an ordinary prudent man bestows on his own similar private affairs.”

The important common word in those two sentences is prudent.  So Jack must take care of his mother’s investments and property at least as well as he would if he were a prudent man, whether he is one or not.

Serving as personal representative of an estate is important, challenging, and might even change a person’s image.  You should make sure the personal representative you choose in your will or trust could handle your property as you would want and as the law requires.

To learn about your estate planning options, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.


Archived Posts

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

← Newer12 3 4 Older →


Our attorneys assist families in Plainfield, IL and the surrounding areas, including Joliet, Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Lockport, Minooka, Oswego, Romeoville, Shorewood, and Yorkville, in Will County, DuPage County, Kendall County, and Kane County.



© 2018 Gruber Law Office, Ltd. | Disclaimer
8380 Old Ridge Road, Plainfield, IL 60544
| Phone: 815-436-1996

Estate Planning | Probate & Estate Administration | Elder Law / Medicaid Pre-Planning | Special Needs Planning | Planning for Children | Business Succession Planning | Pet Trusts | About Our Firm | Resources

Attorney Website Design by
Zola Creative