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Probate Estate Planning

Probate Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois & Wisconsin

Most people need an estate plan. Absent an estate plan, your assets will devolve to your heirs in accordance with the laws of “intestate succession” in Illinois or Wisconsin. You might have a different plan. Lakelaw maintains competence in estate planning and strong levels of ability in asset protection. Our knowledge of bankruptcy and insolvency law allows us to consider whether transfers of assets you may plan to make could be avoided as fraudulent against your creditors. David P. Leibowitz has frequently been called upon to serve as an expert witness in litigation relating to asset protection. He has also been called upon frequently to make presentations to the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education on the relationship between asset protection planning and bankruptcy.

Case Studies

  • Lakelaw has been representing a young woman whose husband’s untimely death has left her in charge of a substantial business. In addition to handling all aspects of probate administration, we have assisted her in real estate sales and refinancing, business evaluation, business brokerage as well as all tax aspects of the probate estate.
  • Lakelaw was upon to stop a foreclosure against a home owned by a decedent where the mortgage lender failed to give notice to the nominated executor, even though the will was on file. Now we have assisted her in selling the house, locating the decedent’s assets, and liquidating and preserving an estate where none was anticipated.
  • Lakelaw represented three adult acknowledged but not legitimate children of a decedent in a contested probate proceeding against the legitimate children of the decedent. We overcame questions of paternity using all modern scientific methods, including DNA testing, to establish the rights of our clients as heirs.
  • Lakelaw represented two adult children of a decedent in a contested probate proceeding against the decedent’s second husband. The decedent’s husband claimed all rights to the decedent estate until his death whereas the decedent’s trust, drawn by the husband’s attorney, provided for a vested share of the trust to be paid immediately to the children. We forced the Estate to sell the property and the daughters now have recovered their rightful inheritance

David Leibowitz has also been honored to be selected as a fiduciary (executor or trustee) in many of his clients’ estate plans. His experience as a bankruptcy trustee has given him excellent experience to fulfill this important and vital fiduciary obligation.

Sharanya Gururajan has developed knowledge and experience in probate administration, particularly in contested probate matters, both in Lake County and Cook County, Illinois.

Carrie Zuniga devotes substantially all of her attention to estate planning in Illinois after having received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois School of Law and having taken a substantial concentration of course work in estate planning and estate taxation matters.

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