DGAA bLAWg

Important Considerations When Drafting Your Will

Web Admin - Thursday, April 23, 2015

drafting your will in Illinois, Palatine estate planning lawyerThe passing away of Chicago Cubs’ legend Ernie Banks was a sad day for baseball fans everywhere. Unfortunately, his death sparked a controversy within his own family after his longtime caretaker claimed that he had executed a will. Recently, a court upheld the validity of the will. Here, we focus on some of the reasons why this occurred and the steps all individuals should take to best protect their will from a challenge.

Banks’ Will

Following the death of Banks, his widow claimed that he did not have a will. However, his caretaker came forward and claimed that Banks had created and signed a will three months prior to his death. The will gave all of his assets to the caretaker. Banks’ widow argued that he was not of sound mind and that the caretaker coerced him into executing the will. In order to prove the validity of the will, two paralegals testified that they witnessed Banks sign it. Further, the paralegals testified that Banks appeared fine and even mentioned during the notarization that he was not leaving anything to his family. The court ruled that the will was valid, though an appeal is likely.

Executing Valid Wills

A person who executes a will is known as the testator. For a will to be valid under Illinois law, it must be in writing and signed by the testator. Further, the signing of the will must be witnessed by two people and it must be notarized. Additionally, the testator must be of “sound mind and memory” at the time the will is created and signed. At the signing, a testator may want to document that he or she has the mental capacity to execute the will. This may include obtaining the opinion of a doctor that establishes the testator’s capacity.

It is important for the testator to state clearly his or her wishes as to the disposition of the property. The testator may want to include his or her reasoning for the way in which their assets will be distributed. In the case of Banks’ will, he affirmatively stated he was leaving all of his assets with his caretaker. Further, he included a statement that he intentionally was leaving nothing to his family. This was an important provision because it made clear that an omission had not occurred. In other words, it signaled that Banks had not simply forgotten about his family.

Many people find it difficult to discuss end of life situations. However, this can be helpful in ensuring that there will not be any challenges to a testator’s will after the testator dies. Speaking with the people included, and those excluded who may have an expectation to be included, in the will can help make sure there are no surprises when the testator dies. If Banks had disclosed to his widow the existence of his will and they had had a discussion regarding it and the reasons he was not leaving her anything, her challenge would have been even less likely to succeed.

If you would like more information or help creating your will, you should speak with an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC proudly represents clients throughout the northwest suburbs, including Inverness, Palatine, and Long Grove.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

Who Takes Care of the Children after the Death of a Parent

Web Admin - Thursday, November 28, 2013

By: Jay A. Andrew

http://www.dgaalaw.com/jay-andrew.html 

Determining who becomes guardian of a child in the unfortunate event that their parents pass away is an important decision. While parents have the right to make such decisions during their estate planning process, not everyone makes these preparations, and that leaves the decision of who raises the children up to the court. Illinois law guides the court as well as it can, providing general provisions for who qualifies to become a guardian in the Probate Act of 1975.

How the Judge Chooses a Guardian

Illinois law provides considerable freedom to judges in choosing who assumes guardianship of a minor, although the law does place some general restrictions on the court. The guardian chosen must be over 18, a resident of the United States, not convicted of a felony and of sound mind.

For most judges the question is decided by what is in the minor’s best interests of the minor child. The act often repeats that phrase, “the minor’s best interests,” stating that it should guide the judge’s decisions as to who assumes the role of guardian.

The procedure for the choice of guardian starts with the notification of interested persons, usually close family members, that the court will appoint a guardian. People may then petition the court to act as guardian for the minor, and the court will weigh the evidence and use its judgment to try to determine who can best raise the child. Minors over the age of 14 also have the option to nominate their own guardian, subject to review by the court. While these proceedings can often go smoothly and amicably, they can also be more acrimonious, depending on the family relationships involved.

If you are a parent and haven’t made provisions for guardianship of your children you should consider whether or not you want a judge that has never met you and barely met your child to make the determination of what is in their best interests.

Other complicating factors that an estate planning attorney can help you work through are disabled children, learning disabled children, how to keep all of the children together and how to manage combined families along with many other issues that are part of the modern family.

How to Avoid the Guardianship Proceedings

In order to avoid a drawn-out court battle, parents can take control of the situation. Illinois law gives parents the opportunity to name a guardian during their lifetime either in their will, or in a separate document. While the court still reviews this choice, the parents get much more control over their child’s future if they appoint a guardian. Rather than making the court guess at who would best raise the child, it can take the parents’ preferences into account, only overruling them if it finds “good cause” that the parents’ appointment would not be in the minor’s best interest.

If you are thinking about preparing a Will, or want to ensure the future security of your children, contact a Chicago estate planning lawyer today. We serve many northwest suburban areas including Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and other nearby communities.


Recent Posts


Tags

Thanksgiving paid sick leave Des Plaines criminal attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace insurance agent negligence drunk driving ObamaCare Illinois construction accident attorney taxes unpaid overtime in terrorem provision Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers civil litigation Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois injury lawyer drugs FSLA Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Palatine civil litigation lawyer Home Remodeling Repair Act Illinois bicycle safety estate plan traffic laws home inspection lawyer job lawyers Barrington attorney Inverness insurance attorney Barrington litigation attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws Inverness corporate attorney Barrington business law firm Deer Park real estate law firm Family Medical Leave Act Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers texting and driving Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys drug crimes Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer dog bites swimming pools startup company Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Crystal Lake injury attorney defective products criminal law mass shooting Kenilworth estate planning attorneys manufacturing Barrington workers compensation attorney probate claims real estate zoning motorcycle accident Schaumburg real estate lawyer traffic violations civil litigation attorney Illinois business law atorneys meal breaks residential real estate irrevocable trust Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Chicago biking tips Joliet general practice lawyers DUI penalities Palatine drug lawyer insurance denial appeals wage theft Chicago traffic lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney owner responsibility homestead rights cell phone Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney Schaumburg Attorney holiday statistics Palatine estate planning lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer defective products lawyer Jay Andrew Illinois employment laws Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Arlington Heights lawyer hit and run accident DUI Illinois boating accident lawyer Crystal Lake traffic attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Inverness estate planning lawyer Inverness accident lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer boating accidents Long Grove real estate attorney insurance claim dispute attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer BAIID Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Barrington civil litigation attorney Inverness elder law lawyer Buffalo Grove probate lawyer murder defense Des Plaines pet law attorney bicycle accidents drug crimes lawyer gift taxes IRA benefits expungement car accident lawyer cell phone tower data Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Illinois trusts attorney bad faith insurance claims murder charges digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, income distribution deducation Inverness real estate lawyer healthcare Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Illinois LLC creation traffic violations defense Schaumburg traffic lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer probate life insurance Arlington Heights injury attorney insurance denials employment contract Des Plaines personal injury lawyer estate planning trusts denial of life insurance Illinois personal injury lawyer back injuries Palatine traffic accidents Illinois Smoke Detector Act changes to mortgage law Illinois job attorney Illinois estate planning criminal Palatine punch death overtime pay real estate closing Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Illinois probate lawyer independent contractor trusts estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, surgical mistakes real estate attorney caretaker rights Schaumburg employment attorney IRELA first degree murder reckless homicide Palatine injury attorney Illinois mortgages revenge porn Schaumburg elder law lawyer attorney fees Palatine Attorney liens civil rights violation Long Grove estate planning attorneys insurance claim denial Schaumburg estate attorney Des Plaines DUI attorney personal injury life insurance lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney denied insurance claims Affordable Care Act life insurance claims Palatine business attorney pet bites real estate lawyer pizza emoji Illinois insurance claims lawyers marijuana agent vacation home fines right to work estate tax IRS Barrington criminal defense lawyer insurance attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Illinois employment attorneys medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers marijuana crimes attorney ken apicella Schaumburg drug defense lawyer traffic tickets personal injury attorney traffic accidents real estate attorneys Arlington Heights estate planning attorney healthcare claims Illinois jet ski accident lawyer personal injury claim Buffalo Grove real estate attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association suspended license icy parking lots Illinois traffic accident lawyer rollover accidents pet law modern family estate planning Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer power of attorney POA filing a medical malpractice claim Crystal Lake law firm Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Schaumburg employment law attorneys Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, car accidents estate planning for college students Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Illinois tax attorney South Barrington real estate attorney Inverness personal injury attorney liability Buffalo Grove corporate attorney mortgage Long Grove estate planning insurance claim dispute Arlington Heights TBI attorney boating under the influence clemency estate planning Des Plaines tax law firm overtime violations Des Plaines personal injury attorney workers compensation benefits Palatine corporate law attorneys Illinois corporate lawyer living trust Mount Prospect real estate lawyer CAM underfunded trust slip and fall Illinois workers compensation attorney Chicago employment lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney senior citizens Illinois business lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois insurance attorney special needs trust traffic offenses blood alcohol content Transfer on Death Instrument real estate leasing Illinois personal injury attorney Crystal Lake car accident lawyer capital gains tax Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Illinois insurance disputes dealing with problem employees Crystal Lake employment law attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act rollover car crashes fatal car accidents probate claims process Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer license employment attorney insurance adjusters Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, bike accident Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Palatine civil attorney workplace sexual harassment Illinois employment lawyer Illinois real estate trucking accident lawyers Palatine personal injury lawyer Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois medical malpractice claim insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys digital assets Illinois red light cameras ACA Fair Labor Standards Act employee rights truck collisions Schaumburg estate planning attorney Illinois workers compensation lawyer medical research investment property whistleblower protections criminal record Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers forming a corporation in Illinois pedestrian-automobile accident Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Illinois estate planning law firm living wills workers comp Illinois home inspection vacation home digital evidence pain and suffering Buffalo Grove law firm DMV involuntary manslaughter Deer Park accident attorney health insurance dispute Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Colin H. Gilbert Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers employment lawyer sexual harassment breathalyzer test elder abuse low-ball insurance settlement Mount Prospect elder law attorney Schaumburg criminal law attorney Rolling Meadows Attorney personal injury accidents estate attorney employee misclassification privacy laws subcontractor license revocation Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer unauthorized overtime Chicago employment attorney Illinois lawyer spinal cord injuries compensatory time natural gas explosion product liability Des Plaines Illinois employment law attorneys Crystal Lake will lawyer Liquor Control Act Illinois Human Rights Act Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys spinal cord injury trucking accidents Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer digital information Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer Palatine law firm car crashes landlord tenant law Illinois DNR Illinois workplace lawyer Mt Prospect Attorney Legal Info financial advisors Palatine probate lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney wrongful termination Do Not Resuscitate traffic crimes Crystal Lake pet attorney Palatine employment attorney consent to a search Rolling Meadows insurance attorney TBI Illinois car accident attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Barrington drug crime attorney Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer estate planning lawyer Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Rolling Meadows Colin Gilbert Schaumburg personal injury attorney insurance disputes Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney power of attorney for healthcare license reinstatement driving commercial leasing Illinois small business Super Mario corporate law probate process disability benefits Illinois employee rights attorney. estate planning attorney dynasty trusts insurance claim denials Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Employment Discrimination Law Whistleblower Claims Illinois insurance lawyer condo Illinois living will deadly crashes Deer Park criminal attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys eluding a police officer Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Barrington personal injury attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney comp time Schaumburg corporate attorney sexual images personal injury claims Palatine elder law attorney pedestrian accident no contest clauses commercial real estate condo association Buffalo Grove employment lawyer boating DUI Self-Directed IRA Accounts landlord Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois registered agent South Barrington real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute real estate insurance claim delay foreclosed rental property Inverness injury lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer underinsured motorist Crystal Lake accident attorney Long Grove estate planning attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers rent to own real estate contracts social media after death Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Inverness real estate attorney DGAA Arlington Heights employment law attorneys guardianship attorney car crash injuries Illinois rollover accident lawyers employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Class A misdemeanor Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Deer Park employment law attorney workers compensation field sobriety test Barrington employment law attorney products liability Schaumburg Attorney Ken Apicella Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Inverness probate lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys real estate contract Illinois civil litigation lawyer dram shop law Illinois driving without license Rolling Meadows tax attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney Illinois attorney deed transfer unpaid assessment Barrington estate planning attorney Palatine insurance lawyer hands free device pay when paid contract traumatic brain injuries GM ignition switches food poisoning Rolling Meadows employment attorney drunk driving statistics Barrington employment attorney blended families Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Chicago corporate attorney medical marijuana Palatine employment lawyer college kids Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Schaumburg wrongful death attorney controlled substance Barrington criminal lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney LLCs golf accidents traffic deaths license suspension auto accidents medical malpractice compensation medical malpractice claims Rolling Meadows real estate attorney insurance claims Illinois speeding lawyer DUI defense probate lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers Illinois employment law firm Illinois trucking safety Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Des Plaines accident attorney motorcycle accident lawyer crossover accidents Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney child safety Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Chicago will attorney federal regulations for LLCs rest breaks internet contracts Illinois collections attorney accidental death benefits foreclosure Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Barrington employment law firm probate fees living trust benefits bicycle dooring accidents Schaumburg civil litigation attorney fiduciary rule delay drug crime Illinois traffic laws Home Sale Contingencies gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys minimum wage criminal defense Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer underage DUI insurance claim drug possession Illinois real estate lawyer DUI attorney cell phone accidents IRA trust transfer fiduciary rule traumatic brain injury Palatine real estate lawyer Illinois traffic attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney preventing accidents wills and trusts Illinois criminal defense attorney Illinois elder law attorney trauma after an accident insurance dispute Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission appealing an insurance claim trust payments Rolling Meadows business lawyer Des Plaines claims law firm Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm unfunded trust Forcible Entry Arlington Heights insurance attorney privacy slip and fall accidents breach of contract Palatine construction attorney caregiver Illinois wills and trusts Illinois pet lawyer Crystal Lake business law attorneys Des Plaines collections attorney Arlington Heights accident attorney wills head on collisions natural gas Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Illinois employment law insurance dispute attorney advance healthcare directive medication errors Inverness civil lawyer Illinois Sales Representative Act Fourth of July BAC Illinois personal injury car accident Inverness DUI lawyer murder trench injuries Rolling Meadows employment law attorney texting while driving Detainer Actions Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Illinois medical malpractice case Illinois DUI attorney uninsured motorist Chicago attorney distracted driving accidents Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Inverness traffic law firm Chicago estate planning operating agreements anesthesia errors Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer car crash comparative negligence Crystal Lake car accident attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury attorney tax attorney personal injury lawyer BUI Chicago car accident lawyer insurance negligence Chicago trucking accident attorney rumble strips construction accidents Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument FMLA Barrington injury attorney Illinois law Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois traffic attorneys Palatine trusts lawyer Illinois will lawyer Illinois employment law attorney car accident lawyers loss of consortium Exclusions Palatine corporate attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Illinois defective products attorney Crystal Lake tax lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer distracted driving accident victims Schaumburg insurance lawyers Illinois insurance dispute lawyers life insurance policy wrongful death sole proprietorship new real estate form Arlington Heights tax lawyer Chicago insurance claim attorneys Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer installment contracts problem employees Chicago lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorney business litigation estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Des Plaines injury law firm Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer pregnant women Deer Park personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Des Plaines real estate lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney School Visitation Rights Act Deer Park traffic accident attorney Illinois wills and trusts attorneys hiring employees construction contracts automated cars creditors PTSD brain injury Barrington personal injury lawyer commercial leases denied insurance claim employee discrimination employees work unions small business employment law car collision premises liability Barrington real estate lawyer preventable medical errors pedestrian accidents Chicago insurance law firm nursing home negligence living trust vs will Barrington boating accident attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Policy Cancellation Illinois medical malpractice attorney severance agreements jet ski Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer medical malpractice trustee liability claims Arlington Heights employment attorney loopholes Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Schaumburg criminal attorney Barrington Traffic Lawyer federal crimes Barrington estate planning lawyer speeding institutional trustee fault based insurance insurance agents Retaliatory Discharge personal injury law firm jet ski accidents Long Grove real estate lawyer elder law

Archive