Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer’s Answers

Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer

Contributor Level 7
  1. Small estate affidavit

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    2. Janet Lee Brewer
    2 lawyer answers

    Anyone with knowledge of the decedent's situation can fill out a small estate affidavit. That being said, the statutory form can be a little confusing, so it may be a good idea to run its contents by an attorney. The keys to completing a small estate affidavit are: 1. Make sure that the value of all of the decedent's probate property (that is, property he or she owned in his or her own name at death) is under $100,000. If it's over, then a formal probate will be needed. 2. Make sure...

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  2. When making a will

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    2. Christine Coffman Karr
    3. Michael S. Haber
    3 lawyer answers

    The witnesses all need to be present at the same time. Basically, everyone (the person making the Will, also known as the "testator," and the witnesses) needs to watch each other sign. Note that Illinois law requires only two (not three) "credible witnesses." Some folks do like to get three witnesses, just to be on the safe side.

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  3. Administator of Estate

    Answered almost 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    1 lawyer answer

    Unfortunately, there is no set rate for administrators and executors. The Illinois Probate Act speaks of "reasonable" compensation, which isn't particularly helpful. In the attached link (to a post from my blog), I address some ways in which you might compute reasonable compensation.

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  4. IL state estate planning law IL state inheritance law

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    1 lawyer answer

    In Illinois, inheritance is based on one of two things: 1. If the person who died had a valid Will, then inheritance is based on the named legatees in the Will (legatees being the people or entities to whom property is given). 2. If the person who died didn't have a valid Will, then inheritance is based on family relationships. Essentially, the property of the person who died will pass to his or her heirs (closest relatives). This obviously varies by situation. For example, if you die...

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  5. IL state estate and probate laws, timeline for paying creditors of decedent

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer to this question depends on whether the deceased person's estate is being probated. While there are some downsides to probate, one of the upsides is that it sets a clear timeframe for the payment of a deceased person's debts. Once a probate estate is opened, notice is given to creditors (by mail or by newspaper publication), which starts the "claims" clock ticking for them. Most creditors have six months from the first publication of notice in the newspaper to file their claim...

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  6. Contesting real estate purchase in IL

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    1 lawyer answer

    First of all, the videotape of dad is not a valid Will -- Illinois law requires that a Will be in writing. It is, of course, evidence of his intent at the time. From a legal perspective, the best time to bring up this issue is now, while your parents are still alive. Of course, from a family/emotional perspective, it's not fun to deal with this now. In seeking to set aside the sale, you are really saying that your father was incapable to entering into the sales agreement, or that your...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  7. IL probate law, administration of father's estate, home facing possible foreclosure

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    1 lawyer answer

    I think your concern is a valid one. You should understand that you and the other beneficiaries are under no legal obligation to contribute money to bring the house payments current. But that means the house will essentially belong to the lender.

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  8. I need to file an injunction to stop the distribution of proceeds from late husband's insurance policy. I must do this by Sept 6

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Joel Armstrong Schoenmeyer
    2. Alan James Brinkmeier
    2 lawyer answers

    It's difficult to contest a beneficiary designation in an insurance policy because the policy is not a probate asset. As a result, the probate court wouldn't seem to be able to rule on the validity of the designation in the same way that it can rule on the validity of a Will. That being said, there may be ways in which you can obtain relief: 1. Raise a stink with the insurance company. I once had a case where my client's father was alleged to have signed a beneficiary designation giving...

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