MASCOUTAH, ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS WILL AND TRUST LAW FIRM, METRO EAST, BELLEVILLE, ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS, WHEN IT IS ANTICIPATED THERE WILL BE A WILL OR TRUST CONTEST, WE WERE HIRED TO PROVIDE REPRESENTATION IN REGARD TO AN ELDERLY FARMING COUPLE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. THEY HAD SEVERAL DAUGHTERS. THEIR INTENT WAS THAT THE DAUGHTER THAT STAYED ON THE FARM, AND WORKED THE FARM FOR DECADES, WOULD RECEIVE THE FARM UPON THE DEATHS OF OUR CLIENTS. AFTER WE BECOME INVOLVED, WE DISCOVERED THAT ANOTHER DAUGHTER, WHO WAS NOT ENGAGED IN FARMING OPERATIONS, HAS SECURED A POWER OF ATTORNEY FROM OUR CLIENTS AND WAS WORKING WITH ANOTHER LAW FIRM IN ST. CLAIR COUNTY. WHEN WE BECAME INVOLVED, THERE WAS A TRUST WITH SIX (6) AMENDMENTS TO THE TRUST. AFTER CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF THE DOCUMENTS, WE DETERMINED THAT THE EXISTING ESTATE PLAN OF OUR NEW CLIENTS DID NOT PROVIDE FOR THE DAUGHTER THAT STAYED IN FARMING TO RECEIVE THE FARM UPON THE DEATHS OF HER PARENTS. RATHER, THE OTHER DAUGHTER, WHO HAD POWER OF ATTORNEY, AND THE LAW FIRM IN ST. CLAIR COUNTY THAT WAS INVOLVED HAD STRUCTURED THE ESTATE PLAN SUCH THAT THE DAUGHTER WHO STAYED IN FARMING WOULD ONLY HAVE A LIFE ESTATE IN THE FARM. FURTHER, UPON HER DEATH, THE FARM WAS THEN TO BE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE DAUGHTER WHO STAYED IN FARMING AND THE OTHER DAUGHTERS, WHICH WAS NOT AT ALL WHAT OUR CLIENTS WISHED. ONCE WE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS OCCURRING, WE TOOK IMMEDIATE ACTION TO CHANGE THE ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS OF OUR CLIENTS, THE ELDERLY FARMING COUPLE, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DAUGHTER WHO STAYED IN FARMING WOULD RECEIVE THE FARM UPON THE DEATHS OF OUR CLIENTS. INCLUDED IN THE NEW ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS WAS A WILL CONTEST CLAUSE THAT WAS BASICALLY IMPREGNABLE. IN FACT, UPON THE DEATHS OF OUR ELDERLY CLIENTS, THE SISTER WHO HAD POWER OF ATTORNEY ATTEMPTED TO FIND ANOTHER LAW FIRM THAT COULD SET ASIDE THE WILL AND TRUST BASED NOTWITHSTANDING THE IMPREGNABLE WILL CONTEST CLAUSE. THAT LAW FIRM DETERMINED THAT THE ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS WERE DRAFTED IN A MANNER THAT COULD WITHSTAND ANY WILL OR TRUST CONTEST, INCLUDING ON APPEAL AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT CLIENTS FROM THE JACKSONVILLE, MORGAN COUNTY, SPRINGFIELD, SANGAMON COUNTY, DECATUR, MACON COUNTY, AREA.
We know from experience that after one or two amendments, clients have a difficult time, as well as attorneys, attempting to figure out the state of the estate plan. We traced the original trust, and the six (6) amendments, until we were able to solve the estate planning puzzle. In the new estate planning documents prepared for the elderly farming couple, we terminated the previous trust and the six (6) amendments.