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Home > Estate Planning > Estate Litigation

Chicagoland Estate Litigation Attorney

Estate planning is a detailed and ongoing process requiring legal assistance from qualified professionals.  One of the primary goals of any estate plan is to ensure that an estate is administered and the assets distributed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes upon their passing.  When an estate plan is unclear, or when something unexpected occurs, heirs may find themselves in litigation over the distribution of the estate.

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, the last thing you need is a protracted lawsuit and probate process.  The Illinois estate litigation legal team at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee is prepared to help you protect your rights, your family, and the wishes of your departed loved ones.  We will work to resolve your estate dispute efficiently, economically, and effectively so that you can keep your focus on your family and moving on with your life.

Disputes That Arise in Probate

A variety of scenarios may give rise to probate litigation.  Different types of issues range in complexity and severity.  The experienced estate litigation attorneys at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee help clients with all manner of probate disputes, including the following:

  • Will Contests. Heirs, beneficiaries, and other interested parties can challenge either specific terms in the will or the validity of a will or trust in its entirety if they believe that they have been wronged or that there is some problem with the will itself.  Disinherited heirs, current or former spouses, or beneficiaries who believe that someone exerted undue influence on the decedent shortly before their passing may challenge a will or certain provisions.  Wills can be invalidated if they were not executed properly, if they resulted from coercion or undue influence (such as a caregiver or person in a position of trust convincing someone to modify their will in their last days), if terms are ambiguous, or if there are legally enforceable terms that violate public policy.
  • Creditor Lawsuits. One of the key parts of administering an estate is ensuring that all creditors of the estate are duly identified and paid. With a proper estate plan, a decedent can protect their assets from aggressive creditors.  However, creditors may bring legal challenges if they believe the administration of the estate has improperly left their debts unpaid.
  • Fiduciary Duties. Many estate disputes arise because heirs or other beneficiaries believe that the Trustee of an estate has betrayed their duties to the decedent in their administration of the estate.  Trustees may make unwise or compromised investment decisions, they may try to go against the terms of the will, or a disgruntled heir may simply fabricate an issue.  Whether you are the Trustee, the executor, an heir, or a beneficiary, you need a skilled legal mind in your corner to ensure that your rights and the desires of the decedent are properly protected.
  • Trust Litigation. If an estate is based around a trust, rather than a will, there may be grounds to challenge the administration of the trust.  Typically, trust lawsuits concern allegations that the assets of the trust have been wasted, embezzled, or poorly invested, or that the trustee has simply failed to provide a proper accounting to the trust beneficiaries.

Whatever the nature of your estate dispute, the experienced estate litigation attorneys at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee are prepared to help.  We will work to ensure that you do not suffer from unjust accusations, that your assets are protected, and that the wishes of your loved one are properly executed.  We work to avoid disputes where possible and to resolve disputes through mediation or litigation where unavoidable.

Call for Help With Illinois Estate and Probate Disputes

For assistance in defending or challenging a will, dealing with creditors, or holding a trustee accountable, reach out to a knowledgeable and detail-oriented Chicagoland estate litigation lawyer at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee for a consultation, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, or in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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