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Illinois Caregiver Remains Trust Beneficiary

November 14, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Illinois Caregiver Remains Trust Beneficiary

November 14, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

Caregivers sometimes end up getting written into a will or a trust.  When they do, it’s not surprising if litigation ensues.  In Gardner v. Cole (Rule 23 order), we get to see an Illinois caregiver and her husband withstand a challenge by the grantor’s surviving relatives to impose a constructive trust over the trust assets and bank accounts that went to the caregiver and her husband.  So, how was the caregiver successful?

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Illinois Supreme Court Punts Question Of Whether Doctrine Of Election Extends To Challenges To Trust Amendments

May 2, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Illinois Supreme Court Punts Question Of Whether Doctrine Of Election Extends To Challenges To Trust Amendments

May 2, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

In Estate of Boyar, the Supreme Court of Illinois had an opportunity to address an important question of Illinois trust law:  whether the “doctrine of election” applicable to will contests should be extended to challenges to amendments to living trusts in cases where the trust serves the same purpose as a will.  The trial court decided it did.  The Illinois appellate court also decided it did.  The Illinois Supreme Court, however, decided that there was no reason for the lower courts to address whether the doctrine of election should be extended to living trusts because that doctrine couldn’t be invoked under the circumstances present in the case.  Nevertheless, we get some good insight into when the doctrine of election could come into play in whatever contexts it might be applicable.

First, some quick facts.

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Form Health Care Power Of Attorney Does Not Create A Presumption Of Undue Influence For Property Transactions

April 16, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Form Health Care Power Of Attorney Does Not Create A Presumption Of Undue Influence For Property Transactions

April 16, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

We’ve previously noted that litigation involving powers of attorney is popular right now.  Powers of attorney take on particular importance in undue influence cases because they can turn the case on its head by creating a presumption of undue influence.  The reason why is that a power of attorney can create a fiduciary relationship between the principal and agent.

But not all powers of attorney are created equal.  In In re: Estate of Stahling, an Illinois appellate court recently answered the important question of whether a health care power of attorney creates a fiduciary relationship with respect to the execution of a deed transferring property to the agent which, as a matter of law, raises a presumption of undue influence.

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