The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered

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(312) 815-7778

The Law Offices of Alan E. Sohn Chartered

WIlls & Trusts

Most people need a will in order to provide for the passing of their assets following their death, as well as to name their executors and the guardians of the estates and persons of their minor children.
State law will determine the division of your property among your heirs. If you have children, your spouse will receive one-half of your estate and your children will receive one-half, divided in equal shares between and among them. There may be a conflict among your heirs as to who should be your executor, and if your spouse does not survive you, who should be the guardian of your children.
As an Illinois resident, persons with estates having a value of in excess of $4 million, will pay estate taxes on the excess amount. However, if the persons dies with a surviving spouse, any amount which qualifies for the marital deduction that is provided for the surviving spouse will be deducted from the amount of the taxable estate. There is a federal estate tax which is assessed against estates in excess of $11.18 million. The federal estate tax also includes a marital deduction for any amount left to the surviving spouse which qualifies for the marital deduction.
No, having a will does not avoid probate. However, if a person has a will, the probate can be much less costly if certain provisions are included in the will.
The cost of the will is dependent upon the specific needs and desires of the person making the will. Usually, after an initial consultation, the cost can be determined.
A very effective way of avoiding probate is creating a living trust. There are other ways to avoid probate which are dependent upon an individual’s choices.
There are many different types of trusts. The most common type of trust is a living trust. A living trust is a document which sets forth the terms and provisions concerning the management and distribution of a person’s assets during the person’s lifetime and upon the person’s death. Usually, the person who creates the trust is also the initial trustee of the trust. Therefore, that person continues to maintain control over their assets as if they were registered in that person’s name.
That is a question that should be taken up with your attorney.
“Tenancy by the Entirety” is a means of holding title to residential property in which married people reside. It is only available to married persons. If a married couple holds title to their home as “tenants by the entirety” then judgment creditors are not able to satisfy a judgment against only one of the married persons.
Under Illinois law, the surviving joint tenant of a bank account becomes the sole owner of the account upon the death of one of the joint tenants. Unless the surviving joint tenant agrees to share equally with his or her siblings, the other children will need to go to court in order to prove that the account was set up in joint tenancy as a convenience. The presumption is against such a finding, but it is rebutted upon clear and convincing evidence, which is tantamount to the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Alan E. Sohn

Call Now for a Personalized Case Evaluation
(312) 815-7778

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