Skip to main content
Jeffrey R. Gottlieb

Jeffrey Gottlieb’s Answers

315 total

  • TOD question 2 homes in different states

    My mom wants to do a tod deed of 2 homes she owns on is in Cook county IL one in Lake county IN. Can she prepare the tod online or is an attorney necessary. This is the only thing she has ; her other assets are assigned a beneficiary. The tod seem...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I don't know the Indiana requirements, but Illinois has some fairly strict statutory requirements. Trying to handle everything by beneficiary designation can be tricky, and even in that case, I still generally recommend a will as a backup. Here is the statute describing who can prepare a transfer on death instrument.

    (755 ILCS 27/95)
    Sec. 95. Preparation of a transfer on death instrument or its revocation. A transfer on death instrument or its revocation shall be prepared only by an Illinois licensed attorney. Nothing in this Section, however, shall prohibit an owner from preparing his or her own transfer on death instrument or revocation.

    See question 
  • Probate Accoumting

    When an accounting is ordered for a trust or an estate, does the accounting have to have supporting documents also??

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It is difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to compile an accounting without having "supporting documents."

    It depends on context and on the specific order, but an initial presentation or filing of accounting probably will not include all underlying statements and documents, which might involve hundreds or thousands of pages. That's part of the purpose an accounting, to condense the info.

    If the court or an interested party wants to see underlying documents, then the court or party might ask for it. Subject to the terms of the will or trust, the Probate Act generally gives interested persons the right to inspect records upon request.

    See question 
  • Probate

    What is the main reason for probate? If the decedent had a trust and a pour over will, would there be a reason to open a probate? If property is jointly titled with the spouse woukd a probate estate woukd have to be opened?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Probate controls only assets titled in the decedent's sole name (and w/o a designated beneficiary). If there are no probate assets -- because all assets are titled in a trust, or in joint tenancy, or paid to a designated beneficiary -- then usually no one will open probate. Having a trust and pour-over will doesn't instruct on probate necessity -- what matters is how assets are titled and owned.

    That said, there is no rule that says that you can't open a probate estate even if not required. In certain cases, a probate may still be opened to shorten the creditor claims period or to recognize an exercise of power of appointment or to file a citation to discover or recover assets.

    See question 
  • My step father died 3/7/15 my mom & I are named in his trust. Haven't heard anything

    The executor doesn't answer his phone and has dismissed the lawyer that drew up the trust

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Did you have a a question?

    If your question is "what should I do" then the answer is to bring all of the info to a probate attorney and talk about the next steps. If the trustee refuses to do his/her job, then a petition to remove may be appropriate.

    See question 
  • Dads will and what actions I need to take to assure we get our fair share of the estate?

    My Dad passed away 5 months and according to step mom, the will is 50 / 50 for the estate with her and the kids. Although she states that nothing can happen until she passes? I'm worried she is selling off or giving away assets like his cars to m...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It sounds like what you are describing might be a trust?

    If there is an ongoing trust, you might want to look into seeing whether you can obtain and review annual trust accountings from the trustee. This will depend on the terms of the trust.

    You might want to discuss this directly with a trusts and estates attorney.

    See question 
  • Conflict of Interest on Family Trust and Will

    My daughter-in-law handle my mothers Trust and Will the will wasn't signed of notaries now my daughter-in-law is getting a divorce and wants half of the house. Do I have any legal recourse since I was trustee of my mothers estate.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Is your daughter-in-law a beneficiary of the trust? I can't really make heads or tails of your question, but the issues sound important enough to discuss directly with an attorney. Gather all of the important information and documents and contact a trusts and estates attorney.

    See question 
  • If I transfer deceased Trust's stocks to a trustee acct, is that considered distributed so no 6 mo alternate value allowed?

    I am trustee of deceased's brokerage account held in trust's name. If stocks soar, it seems better to get a stepped up basis valuation in 6 months so less capital gains to the beneficiaries. If I have the brokerage company open a new account and...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You can only elect alternate valuation if federal estate taxes are paid and electing alternate valuation actually reduces federal estate tax. So if the estate is higher on 6 mo alternate valuation date, you probably won't want to do it because it will increase federal estate tax (more than it will decrease capital gains tax).

    As for your question, moving from one brokerage to another should not be a sale or disposal of the assets. But you should work on this with counsel.

    See question 
  • Named executor vs. legal executor

    My father passed and my brother is the named executor. However, he and I are in disagreement in many aspects of settling the estate. He has not yet filed the documents in court to become the legal executor. I keep telling him he has no legal right...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Generally, a person needs to be appointed by the probate court before they have power to act as executor. However, under 755 ILCS 5/6-14, Illinois law does allow certain limited powers before formal appointment. You didn't mention what kind of "decisions" he is making so it's impossible to evaluate that.

    It's not necessarily easy, but you might be able challenge his appointment for cause. In fact, if probate is appropriate and he delays in asking to be appointed without good cause, that itself could provide grounds for challenging appointment. See 755 ILCS 5/6-3(a).

    You would be well advised to consider retaining a probate attorney, sooner than later.

    See question 
  • How does one find out what kinds of power of attorney someone has in Oregon? Is there a way to find out what the state of mind

    Is of someone in a memory care facility in Oregon?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Here's an article from the Oregon State Bar on Powers of Attorney in Oregon:

    The second question sounds like either a medical or philosophical question. How does one determine the state of mind of someone in an Oregon memory care facility? I suppose by having some expertise in that field and then talking with and observing the person.

    See question 
  • I wanted to know if a decadent estate can be opened by a granddaughter who was the deceased legal guardian prior to death?

    My grandmother had seven children however she appointed me with the help of the court to become her legal guardian of estate and person. Now I want to be the sole executive over her estate and have some opposition from only 3 out of the seven chil...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You didn't mention whether your grandmother had a will. If she did, then you need to see what the will says in terms of executor.

    If not, then it's based on order of preference. The children would have preference to serve or appoint, but you can file a petition to be appointed.

    The process is fairly technical. If you want to approach being appointed as administrator, then you should contact a probate attorney to represent you.

    See question