Administrative

In this article, we will explain contesting an heirship in Illinois. Our Illinois lawyers will answer: What is heirship in Illinois? Who is an heir-at-law in Illinois? What is an affidavit of heirship in Illinois? Who can contest an heirship in Illinois? Are there assets an heirship cannot touch? What Is Heirship in Illinois? Heirship is the right of inheritance. In certain situations, heirship must be proven in Illinois by an affidavit to settle an estate, especially in cases where a will wasn’t executed by a decedent. Is an Heir the Same as a Beneficiary in Illinois? No. Though the…
In this article, we will answer, “What is ademption in probate cases in Illinois?” Our Illinois probate lawyers will address: What is ademption in probate cases in Illinois? What are the types of ademption in Illinois? How is ademption addressed in Illinois? How can ademption be prevented in Illinois? What Is Ademption In Probate Cases in Illinois? Most testators take one of two approaches when devising gifts in their will. The first is to leave each heir a designated percentage. For example, a testator could award each of their five children 20% of the value of their estate upon their…
In this article, we will explain Iowa will contests. Our Iowa attorneys will answer: What does it mean to contest a will in Iowa? Who can contest a will in Iowa? What are legal grounds for contesting a will in Iowa? How to contest a will in Iowa What are the chances of contesting a will in Iowa and winning? What Does It Mean to Contest a Will in Iowa? After a will is admitted to probate, it may draw concern or spark doubt. If there is uncertainty surrounding the validity of a will, it may be contested by an…
In this article, we explain the duty of an estate executor to determine creditors of the estate and provide notice of probate in Illinois. When someone passes away, the person responsible for administering his or her estate (the “executor” or “administrator”) has a responsibility to determine who the deceased owed money to (known as a “creditor”) and to either pay the full amount owed from the estate or provide the creditor with proper notice of the estate. Creditors of the estate must be paid in full prior to making distributions to beneficiaries and heirs. If a probate case is opened,…
Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court announced a plan to expand remote access to court information and documents. The new Remote Access Policy (RAP), which took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, is being tested by a subset of Illinois licensed attorneys that were selected by the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Technology. The RAP will be tested during a trial period using the statewide re:SearchIL portal. Prior to June 30, 2020, an initial review of the RAP will be conducted to determine if expansion to judicial partners and the public is appropriate. Since 2002, the Illinois…
Earlier this year, I wrote about the disappearing rural lawyer. In Illinois, more lawyers are hanging their law firm shingle in urban areas. This isn’t just an Illinois trend, it’s happening across the U.S. For instance, in Illinois, roughly 7,000 lawyers across 95 counties outside of Chicagoland serve 35% of the state’s population, or approximately 4.5 million people. This breaks down to a 1:700 lawyer-resident ratio. In The Disappearing Rural Lawyer part I, I examined initiatives that are addressing access to justice concerns in rural America. In Part II, I analyze broad systematic opportunities that the profession could embrace…
In this article, we answer the question, “does a trustee have a duty to defend against trust contests in Illinois?” A trust contest is a lawsuit filed with the purpose of challenging the validity of a trust.  To learn more about trusts contests, check out our article: Illinois Trust Contests Explained. According to Illinois law, the trustee of a trust has the duty to to the beneficiaries of the trust to defend the trust against trust contest actions that may result in a loss to trust estate unless, when all of the circumstances are considered it is reasonable to…
In this article, we answer the question, can a guardian create an estate plan on behalf of a ward in Illinois? Illinois Law (755 ILCS 5/11a-18(a-5)) permits a guardian of an estate for a disabled adult to create an estate plan for the disabled adult with court approval. This means that, in order to create a valid will or trust for a ward, the guardian must file a petition requesting leave to do so with the probate court that has jurisdiction over the guardianship case. In creating the estate plan, the guardian of an estate must create the…
In this article, we explain the Illinois rules of construction for wills and trusts.  We answer the following questions: How do Illinois courts interpret ambiguous language in wills and trusts? What does the term “rules of construction” mean with respect to wills and trusts? What are the rules of construction for wills and trusts in Illinois? How do Illinois courts interpret ambiguous language in wills and trusts? If an Illinois will or trust contains language that is vague or subject to multiple interpretations, interested parties can file a lawsuit called a “construction action” to request that a court determine how…
In this article, we answer the questions “what happens if a will or trust is ambiguous?” and “how do courts interpret ambiguous language in wills and trusts?” When is a will or trust considered ambiguous? A will or trust is ambiguous if reasonable people can differ regarding the meaning of the language and the difference in reasonable interpretations would lead to differing results.  If a will or trust is ambiguous, then Illinois courts are empowered to interpret the creator’s intention in a court case called a construction action. Courts lack jurisdiction to interpret a will or trust unless there is…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that early bird registration is open for its fifth annual The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. The Future Is Now will feature 11 industry-leading speakers tackling pressing topics in the legal profession, the judiciary, and organizational leadership. In a series of TED-like talks and interactive townhall discussions, speakers will provide practical tips for improving the practice of law and discuss trends that are reshaping the profession. For the first time, the 2020 conference…
Happy 2020! A new year and a new decade have arrived. Have you set any resolutions for the year ahead? If so, I have some bad news. Eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. However, all hope isn’t lost. The success rate improves if you set small, realistic goals. Therefore, I’ve laid out three manageable goals for lawyers in 2020 that can improve your practice and the profession. Prioritize wellness First in my goals for lawyers in 2020 is prioritizing wellness. Over the past year, I’ve presented on lawyer well-being to audiences across the state. These presentations help…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Executive Director Jayne Reardon has been named to the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s (LTRC) 2020 Women of Legal Tech list. Reardon was one of 20 women selected by the LTRC from almost 200 nominations.  “I’m honored to be recognized by the LTRC, alongside these innovative women who’re pushing the profession forward,” said Reardon. “As changes in technology and globalization transform industries, it’s vital that the legal profession keeps up. We must adopt practices that not only enable lawyers to leverage technology to deliver improved legal services, but also allow lawyers to make a sustainable living. I thank the LTRC for including me in its 2020 class.”  The LTRC provides legal technology resources…
The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism is accepting nominations for its annual E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards. The award recognizes exceptional professionalism programs at law schools, bar associations, courts, and other legal organizations. Nominations will be accepted until March 31, 2020. In 2020, the ABA will recognize up to three programs. Honorees will be awarded a $3,500 prize provided by the E. Smythe Gambrell Fund for Professionalism. The awards will be presented on July 31, 2020, at the NABE/NCBP/NCBF Joint Luncheon during the ABA 2020 Annual Meeting in Chicago. To be considered for the Gambrell Professionalism Awards, a program…
In this article, we answer the question, “what happens if a guardian dies or becomes disabled in Illinois?” and we explain the process of appointing a successor guardian based on death or disability.   For foundational information on guardianship, check out our article: Illinois Guardianship Explained. The process for replacing a guardian who is no longer able to fulfill his or her duties due to death or disability depends on whether the guardian was guardian of the person, guardian of the estate or both.  A guardian of the estate is responsible for the financial affairs of the ward.  A guardian…
In this article, we explain the termination of guardianship upon the death of a disabled adult in Illinois and answer the question, “what happens after a ward dies in Illinois?”  We also answer the questions, “what are the responsibilities of a guardian after a ward dies?” and “who is responsible for managing the estate of a deceased ward?” For foundational information on guardianship, check out our article: Illinois Guardianship Explained. What are the Responsibilities of a Guardian After a Ward Dies? Although a guardianship of a disabled adult terminates when the disabled adult passes away, the guardian continues to…