Stories and interviews

Subscribe to learn for helpful articles, solutions, and Bielski Chapman, Ltd. updates.

    Recent blog posts

    • When to Hire a Probate Attorney in Illinois

      The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, and on top of emotional burdens, there are often legal matters to address. In Illinois, probate is the court process that oversees the administration of an estate, ensuring debts are settled and assets are distributed according to the deceased’s wishes (or by state law if…

    • Minimizing Probate Costs in Illinois

      After a person passes away, there are situations where their estate will enter into probate. During this time, the court will administer and distribute the deceased’s assets and pay off any debts. While it is often necessary, probate can be a costly and time-consuming process.  However, there are strategies you can use to reduce these…

    • Contesting a Will in Illinois

      Challenging a will is never an easy process. Many times, family members and other interested parties will question the validity of the will. As you can imagine, that leads to plenty of legal concerns and family challenges. However, this document must be authentic and respect the wishes of the decedent. If you want to know…

    All blog posts

    • living trust estate planning

      There are two types of estate planning: will-based planning and trust-based planning.  Our office only does trust-based planning.  While a Last Will and Testament will direct your executor how to distribute your property, your executor will be required to go to probate court to collect and distribute your property, opening up your estate to the…

    • who needs an estate plan

      Folks often believe that only the wealthy need a will or a trust. As a matter of fact, having an estate plan is not only about passing wealth on to future generations or avoiding taxes.   People Who Need an Estate Plan Estate planning has numerous benefits for all of the following groups.   If you fall…

    • losing a trust

      What do you do when you’ve lost a trust? You go back to basics: the elements of a trust, and when all else fails, probate!  A Short Story About a Client Who Lost a Trust We had a case where a client’s mother (let’s call the mother Betty Smith) had deeded her home into trust…

    • estate planning documents

      When my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, my parents were living in my childhood home in Wilmette, and they had a modest life savings.  In the course of sharing my dad’s diagnosis with friends and family, one thing they kept hearing was how expensive Long Term Care would be; the cost could completely drain their…

    • chicago airbnb

      Listing your Chicago property on Airbnb may seem lucrative, but if you’re not careful, it can cost you. Homeowners who want to list their property must be careful to avoid penalties by paying attention to the restrictions in the Chicago Shared Housing Ordinance and their building’s governing documents. The restrictions are noted below, along with…

    • estate planning property transfers

      As a general rule, spouses can transfer an unlimited amount of property to each other  without paying tax on the transfer.[1] The rule includes transfers made upon death.[2] The so-called “unlimited marital deduction” delays taxation on the transfer of property until it is transferred out of the marital unit. The rule applies to US citizens as well…