Browse Category by Probate Law
Probate Law

Protect Your Rights With a Guardianship Attorney

When an individual loses the ability to make decisions on their own due to age or a life-long disability, a guardianship may be necessary. Often, a family member or close friend will assume the responsibility of becoming the legal guardian for a loved one in these situations. The duties of a guardian may include making health care decisions, collecting and investing assets, and assisting with day-to-day living arrangements.

In a perfect world, individuals who will need a legal guardian could have planned ahead by signing appropriate powers of attorney. Unfortunately, many people either do not plan for this or their plans fail due to illness or a lack of proper documentation. In any event, discussing your options with a Chicago Guardianship Attorney is important to ensure that you understand your rights and those of your loved ones.

Typically, a person who wishes to be appointed as a guardian must file a petition with the court. The petition must include basic personal information about the person requiring a guardian, as well as a report about their current condition and capacity from a physician. In some circumstances, a physician may not be available, and in those cases the court can appoint an independent investigator or “guardian ad litem.”

A Guardian ad litem is an attorney or lay person who investigates and advocates for the best interests of the alleged incapacitated person (“AIP”). The guardian ad litem interviews the AIP and informs them of their legal rights. The guardian ad litem also provides the court with a report of their investigation and recommendation as to who should be the guardian.

Guardianship proceedings are complicated and should not be undertaken lightly. Once the court appoints you as a guardian, it will require that you regularly submit reports and accountings to the court and appear in front of the judge if required. Guardians also have a duty to look out for the best interest of their ward and are required to follow all laws regarding the guardianship process.

A guardian cannot act without the approval of the court or the ward, which is why it is important to discuss your options with an experienced attorney before taking steps to become a guardian. At the Law Offices of Peck Ritchey, LLC, we can review your situation and assist you in filing a petition for a guardianship with the courts.

In addition to filing petitions for guardianship, we can help you prepare other documents that may be required by the court, such as a letter of inquiry, physician’s report, and a statement of assets. Once these documents are gathered, they can be filed along with a citation or notice of hearing, depending on whether the subject of the guardianship is alive or deceased. The citation or notice is then served to the AIP, relevant relatives, and the new guardian(s). Then, any necessary hearings can be scheduled. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Chicago Guardianship Attorney.

Probate Law

All About Guardianship- What You Need To Know

A Guardianship and Trust are the form of Last Will and Testament typically used by the parents of young minor (under 18) kids. Unlike a simple will, a Guardianship and trust allow you to state exactly where or to whom your assets will go and also allows for the naming of an Executor. It is very similar to the standard Wills but is a more legally binding document that ensures the future of your minor kids and provides for their safety. In general, a Will can only be executed upon the express written agreement of the person to whom it is being executed. A guardianship and trust provide that same protection to your minor kids without requiring the full written agreement of the people that would be getting the assets transferred.


Once the decedent has no one to claim his/her property or assets, the court appoints a “trustee” or “warden” to handle the decedent’s affairs in place of the decedent. An important distinction between guardianship and trust is that the latter does not need to be overseen by a court or involve court hearings. In addition, in cases of extreme financial hardship, it may also be possible for a minor child to become the ward or beneficiary of another individual without involving a court. This is especially true if that individual is capable of paying and providing for the necessary expenses pertaining to the guardianship; or if the minor child has a close relationship with the decedent or has been in the decedent’s company.


It is very important that you hire an experienced and reliable guardianship and trust attorney if you are going through this process. A good attorney should be able to review your current estate plan and provide advice as to what steps to take in the event of your disability or death. They will also work with your doctor and your legal representatives to establish a guardianship trust. This is a legally binding contract that ensures the continuation of your children’s interests after your disability or death. A successful guardianship trust typically will pay a regular income and dividend to your beneficiaries.


The state of Texas has a simple trust statute that requires all trusts to be established on a day and date specified by the court. Any change in the date or name of the trust must be filed with the courts. In Texas, trusts must be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State in the state of Texas. A certified public accountant is required to file a document accompanied by an asset valuation certificate, when undertaking a probate action under the Texas intestate laws. This serves as proof that the value of the assets being protected has been accurately estimated. This is needed to ensure that the testator’s estate will be distributed as prescribed under Texas intestate laws.


Once the testator’s estate has been established, it will continue to be protected by Texas law. A Texas judge will consider any issues that arise within the estate during the course of the probate process. He may order a posthumous estate distribution. In this case, the deceased person’s will is immediately terminated upon death and his or her personal property is divided among the heirs. The court also has the right to determine how the property is to be dispersed.


If you need more assistance concerning Texas intestate laws or any other aspect of estate planning, you should contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can provide you with the information and guidance you need regarding your guardianship and will work with you to protect your interests. Contact one from today.

Probate Law

Learning the Process of Probate and Settlement of Estate

Probate of wills is a legal term referring to the official procedure for recording, settling and executing wills. Wills records prepared by state officials for the testator who dies. In general, will procedures are applicable in all states that use the same testator rules. In addition, probate of wills often involves the involvement of representatives of the decedent’s heirs, including creditors and estate planners.

In general terms, wills are recorded in duplicate in the county where the testator resided prior to his death and recorded in the same county where the decedent died. However, the probate court in each jurisdiction has its own procedures for recording and executing the same. Some jurisdictions also allow for will exchanges in which one testator signs an instrument with another or states that the testator has fully paid his/her debts to others. It is necessary to record the testator’s name under the appropriate heading as part of the will. While the use of names other than the testator’s, especially in the case of initials or nicknames, is common in many probate jurisdictions, it is not necessary to use legal titles.


In legal terms, “testimony” refers to any oral statement, whether oral or written, concerning the testator’s affairs which may be used as evidence at any later stage in the probate of wills proceedings. Testimonials may be based on information learned from others, hearsay and even dreams. While a few states recognize a will as having been executed in state court if there is no probate action, the majority of states recognize a will as a legally binding document and require an oath of the parties to a testator’s act. Generally, a legal representative of the decedent’s estate presents the sworn statement at the testator’s expense to a probate court, whether or not the testator is present.


There are also some states that allow the testator or his estate to appoint an agent to control certain aspects of the estate during the administration of the will. Such an agent may have the responsibility for distributing the assets to beneficiaries and for the collection of monies owed to them. This aspect is important in limited liability situations because the testator may be personally liable for the actions of the agent or his estate. This is not the case in all jurisdictions however and is a question that must be considered on a case by case basis.


MiamiProbateAttorneys.netEstate planning is an essential component of estate tax planning and must be undertaken as a part of any estate plan. In order to successfully revokes a will, a testator must be in financial difficulty, there must be a substantial uncertainty about the future of the testator’s estate and the testator must be in compliance with applicable estate tax laws. Some jurisdictions refer to a will as a “power of attorney” and others to a “writing of trust.” The term will does not imply that the document itself is invalidated by the federal law, it simply provides for the existence of a prior written document that was not properly executed under the provisions of the law, said


If you would like to learn more about Probate of Wills and how it affects the process of wills in the United States or other countries, please contact a qualified lawyer. An experienced estate law attorney can assist in completing your state required documentation and can assist you in discussing your particular probate needs. A qualified probate lawyer should be willing to meet with you and discuss the details of your situation and provide insight into probate matters. An experienced probate lawyer should be available for an initial consultation and/or a free legal consultation.