Everyone leaves assets behind when they pass away. Those assets are your estate. An estate may be very modest or it may be worth several million dollars. Usually, it's somewhere in between. If the person who passed away (known legally as the decedent) had an estate plan, his or her estate may be in a trust. If so, the estate will be governed by the (successor) trustee according to the terms of the trust. If the decedent left a will, then the probate estate will be governed by the terms of the will. The administration of the estate will be handled by the person named by the decedent to be the executor of the estate. If the decedent did not do any estate planning, then his or her estate will be handled by an administrator appointed by the court. When someone passes away without a will, they are said to have died intestate and their estate passes in accordance with the laws of intestacy.
If the assets in a decedent's estate have a value of less than $100,000, then it may be possible to handle the administration of the estate by using a Small Estate Affidavit. Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. has a lot of experience in the preparation of Small Estate Affidavits.
Being the executor or administrator of the estate or the trustee of the trust of a family member or a close friend is an awesome responsibility. You will have fiduciary responsibilities in regard to that estate or trust. That means, it is your job to assure that:
your relative or friend's wishes and intentions are carried out;
the assets in the estate or trust are invested properly;
beneficiaries are treated fairly;
the proper tax returns are filed;
challenges to the validity of the will or trust are defended; and
legitimate creditors are paid.
Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. is focused on helping executors, administrators and trustees fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. We have the knowledge and the experience to counsel and guide you every step of the way.
A probate estate or trust administration involves two types of tax - estate tax and income tax. Estate tax is a tax imposed on the value of the assets in the taxable estate. The federal estate tax is reported on Form 706. The attorneys at Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. have the resources to see to it that the assets of the estate are properly valued and are experienced in identifying the expenses and debts that can be used to offset the value of some of those assets.
On the death of the decedent, his or her trust and/or estate become taxpayers. The trustee, executor or administrator is required to obtain a taxpayer identification number for the trust and/or estate. Income tax is imposed on income on the income of the trust and/or estate from the date of death of the decedent. The federal income tax is reported in Form 1041. Our lawyers know how to minimize the taxes paid by the estate or trust and the beneficiaries.
Contact Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. by email or by phone at 847-234-4438 for a consultation.
Semmelman & Wisneski, Ltd. serves clients in Illinois such as Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Highland Park, Mundelein, Gurnee, Grayslake, Wadsworth, Ingleside, Antioch, Wauconda, Lake Zurich and the rest of Lake County.
Regional Nicknames: Lake County, Illinois
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