Skip to main content
Jeffrey R. Gottlieb

Jeffrey Gottlieb’s Answers

326 total

  • I filed a petition for letters of office for my step dad' s is a small estate.why do I need an attorney?

    While my dad was alive, I was power of attorney. I understand and am familiar with the workings of the estate. I have two sisters, one is the only one listed in the will. My sister is in agreement that I be the executor of estate.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    If this is a small estate (under $100k and no real estate), then you might be able to use a "small state affidavit" instead of getting letters of office.

    Whether you were power of attorney is irrelevant to being appointed representative for the estate.

    If you do need letters of office, and this is in Cook County, the probate judge may require you to be represented by counsel. That is common practice for Cook County probate judges.

    Even if not mandated, why would you not want to retain counsel? You are entitled to hire counsel and to pay for counsel from the estate.

    You state that your sister is in agreement that you be executor. But does the will appoint you as executor? Only the will can designate an executor. If you are not designated executor in the will, then your sister might be able to nominate you to be administrator with will annexed. That would be a different form and has different requirements.

    Even if not listed in the will, your other sister still has rights and must be given proper notice.

    Talk to a probate attorney.

    See question 
  • Can the fund from and estate be disbursed before the estate is fully closed?

    My grandmother died in 2008, my aunt is the executor of the estate. This process has been so long and drawn out the estate was suppose to be closed last year in October but apparently it kept getting delayed. Finally a month ago the papers were ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I agree with attorney Webb.

    Only other thing I'd say is: perhaps if you don't have your distribution before the next court date, then you might personally appear at the hearing to find out what the holdup is and see if you can expedite your distribution.

    See question 
  • Can an Adoption that happened 50 years ago be challenged in order to remove someone as an heir?

    In the 1960's I was adopted at 2 days old by wonderful parents and to this day we remain close as I am their only child. They and I always believed I was meant to be their child no matter how I got to them, so the word "adoption" was not shared w...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your parents can leave their estate by will to whomever they want, whether you are adopted or not (and it sounds like you are). They should discuss all of this and work with an estate planning attorney to make sure that their wishes are known and will be carried out.

    See question 
  • I was made a heir of my deseased brothers home, which is being forclosed. Will I be responsibile for any costs?

    There is no one living in the home.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You are not personally responsible, but the assets of his estate can be used to satisfy his debts. You didn't mention if you were named as the representative of his estate or if the estate is currently in probate. There are a number of different directions this can take depending on various facts. It is probably a good idea for you to consult with a probate attorney to see if you should take some action or refrain from taking certain actions.

    See question 
  • Hi My mother died April of 2014 and they are threatening me to move out of the house I lived in for 35 years and the last 11

    years I took care of her it would be nice just to take over the payments of the house but my sister wants the inheritance from the sell of the house I just want to take over the payments but she won't allow this. I have a disability and have a li...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You may be entitled to a distribution through the estate and you may have certain claims that you might be able to make against the estate. But you have not provided nearly enough facts to assess either. You need to speak directly with a probate attorney to review your situation. And you should do so ASAP because there are time limits, which unfortunately may already have passed.

    See question 
  • What is best when doing a last will for my parents

    I am in need to get a last will done on behalf of my parent who has left it to me to get done. I have also heard of a Executor? I am on a budget to get this done because my parent are of older age. I know alot of people who find this a hard subjec...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Doing estate planning is a very good thing. However, having one child solicit or arrange an estate plan on behalf of parents is quite another. Rather than preventing family fighting, it can actually cause it. While your own motives may very well be pure and honest here, when one child actively participates in the procurement and/or creation of the will(s), it van open it up to potential contest down the road for undue influence (especially if the will or distribution of other assets is in any way unequal).

    Your better role would be to simply encourage your parents to contact a qualified estate planning attorney directly to instruct the attorney in creating their own estate plan. It may not be as expensive as they think it will be. If they don't have powers of attorney, they should also discuss that with the attorney.

    See question 
  • Can I appear as a Pro Se for an estate?

    Can I appear as a Pro Se for an estate?Please reply urgently as I am sitting in the court to file the Motion to Appear as Pro Se.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    From my experience in observing probate in Cook County, the probate judges will generally not allow the estate representative to open an estate pro se.

    Furthermore, the representative is entitled to hire and pay for an attorney from estate assets.

    See question 
  • Do i need a probate attorney?

    My brother passed away August 5 2015 and had our mother as his beneficiary on his bank account,investments,etc. The problem is my mother passed away in 2008 and he never changed the beneficiary.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    My condolences for your loss.

    Unless a secondary/contingent beneficiary was designated, then those assets will likely revert back to your brother's (probate) estate. If your brother had a will, the his estate would pass (through probate) pursuant to the terms of the will. If no will, then assets pass (through probate) to his legal heirs as determined by Illinois law. If the total probate estate is less than $100,000, then you *might* be able to bypass probate with a small state affidavit. If probate assets exceed $100,000 then probate would be required.

    I'd suggest contacting a probate attorney (who practices in the county where your mother lived) directly with all of the facts to determine the best course of action.

    See question 
  • Probate

    If I have a Last Will and Testament and a Gran tors Trust in place, will this avoid probate? Only assets in the decedent name would go through probate, if I did not have a Will and Trust in place? If assets are joint with a spouse would they go ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I'll try to address the 4 questions in order:

    1. Not necessarily. Probate necessity is based on how assets are titled, not what documents are in place.
    2. Assets in decedent's sole name (with no designated beneficiary) are probate assets (or small estate affidavit), with or without a will/trust.
    3. Assets in joint tenancy pass to surviving joint tenant, if any, then at the surviving joint tenant's death (if not transferred) through the surviving joint tenant's probate estate.
    4. Intestate probate transfers a decedent's assets to legal heirs when there is no valid will.

    These types of questions are best addressed by an estate planning attorney within the context of creating a specific estate plan.

    See question 
  • Trust

    Can a beneficiary be a co-trustee of a trust??

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Short answer: Yes.
    Longer answer: Sometimes it is not a good idea, for a variety of reasons.

    See question