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Tag Archives: probate


The Good Wife, Probate and Sticky Notes

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Spoiler Alert: If you have the Oct. 4 season premiere of The Good Wife on your DVR, you may want to look away. Alicia has a new estate case Alicia has her first new client, apparently from her website (although we later learn that the client was referred by Louis Canning). Ms. Smulders explains… Read More »

Lost and Found

Can a Copy of a Lost Will be Admitted to Probate in Illinois?

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

If you’re anything like my law firm, you may be trying to digitize files and keep less paper. It generally works great — easy searchable access to files at your fingertips without having to chase down documents hidden away in file boxes or cabinets. The evolution will continue toward paper-less, though probably never entirely… Read More »

Banks pin

Ernie Banks Estate, Part 3: Creditor Claims Against the Estate

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Mr. Cub’s estate battle has now entered roughly the top of the second inning. To recap, you can read my first two installments on this case here and here. What’s happened since my last installment on March 3rd? Quite a bit (you can actually review the basic probate docket entries here). I will start… Read More »


Ernie Banks Estate, Part 2: Probate vs. Non-Probate Property

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

A lot of people are following the Ernie Banks probate case with intense interest, attorneys included. I think part of the reason for the public interest is that a lot of people have either gone through a similar family situation, or know someone else that has. It has touched a chord. But this is… Read More »


Illinois Probate: Heirs vs. Legatees

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

Last year I wrote about the importance of distinguishing between ‘Heirs vs. Descendants’ in the estate planning context. Today’s post will highlight the difference between ‘heirs’ and ‘legatees’ in the probate context. Heirs (n.): The individuals who by operation of (intestacy) law inherit the property of a decedent who dies without leaving a valid… Read More »


Illinois Probate: What are “Letters of Office”?

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

I frequently receive phone calls that start something like: “My dad died and I’m executor in the Will.  I’m trying to collect his checking account, but his bank said I need to have an attorney get me letters of office.  Is that a letter you can write for me?” Open Probate = Letters of… Read More »

samsung glaxy

Tablet Will: Don’t Try This at Home (or in Illinois)

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

In what appears to be a case of first impression (possibly anywhere), an Ohio probate court judge recently ruled that a Will created by a dying man on a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer could be admitted to probate in Ohio as a valid Will.  Javier Castro, who had refused a blood transfusion due to… Read More »

probate court

Formal Proof of Will Hearings in Illinois

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

I recently represented a client in a formal proof of will hearing in Cook County Probate Court (Daley Center 18th Floor).  This type of hearing involves bringing the (usually two) witnesses to a decedent’s Will into court to testify under oath as to the authenticity of their signatures and the circumstances surrounding the execution… Read More »


You’re Named Executor. Now What? First Steps…

By Jeffrey R. Gottlieb |

You have recently attended or arranged for the funeral of a relative or close friend who has passed away in Illinois.  You find out that you have been named in the Will as executor of the estate.  Now what?  Where do you start?  Many individuals have no prior experience or knowledge about serving as… Read More »