Probate and Estate Law

The loss of a loved one is traumatic; however, grieving families should not have to suffer unnecessary stress. Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym, Ltd. can handle the many legal, financial, and administrative steps following the death of a loved one. HSPRD’s services include probate (estate administration) and trust administration, including litigation and contested estates.

Learn more about our probate and estate law practice

Probate is the legal procedure in which the court supervises the distribution of assets of someone who has died. Administration can be independent or supervised. The court wants to ensure that all debts, taxes and all other claims owed by the person are paid by the estate, and to make sure that a proper distribution is made of the remaining assets to the family and friends named in a will, or to the heirs if there is no will.

Probate law and the handling of estates is in fact a complex system, and often involves meticulous accounting of assets and a variety of tasks to be performed by the estate representative, an experienced attorney and a tax consultant, all working in harmony with each other. The task of handling an estate becomes even more complicated if assets are being left to a minor, or not all of the assets are distributed by a will. In many instances, a person may die without leaving a will, creating an “intestate estate.” In these cases, Illinois law carefully controls the distribution of assets to heirs, with a hierarchy of rules as to apportionment and distribution of the assets. Under all circumstances, whether the estate is large and complicated or small and straightforward, HSPRD can help ensure that the process is a simple one.

Probate may be avoided with the creation and proper funding of a trust. By placing assets into a trust, you or a loved one can control how and when those assets will be distributed, and can side-step the court system in doing so. Often, the options as to how assets will be distributed are near limitless. If you would like to establish a trust, or need help in administering one, our firm’s attorneys can help, and have years of experience in creating and managing trusts.

Many of the difficulties and concerns that are encountered when a loved one dies can be avoided through thoughtful planning and careful drafting of a will or creation of a trust. The costs involved in drafting a will or trust document are small, especially in comparison to the costs of trying to resolve a problem after a loved-one has passed. Our attorneys can help you with drafting both of these documents. And if a loved one has already passed and despite properly drafting a will or funding a trust, their plans are having a negative impact on the family with regard to estate taxes for the surviving spouse, our attorneys can advise you about post-mortem planning techniques that may remedy the situation and create more favorable tax consequences for surviving family members.

Regardless of the circumstances, the loss of a loved one is a difficult time. HSPRD attorneys are experienced in dealing with the legal issues of resolving a person’s estate, and will work with you to make the process as stress-free as possible.