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Estate & Trust Administration & Litigation

Trusted advisors for life’s tough times

As recognized leaders in probate, guardianships and estate and trust administration, we can help you through this often emotionally charged legal terrain – as we have helped others for more than 35 years.


Our attorneys appear daily in the probate courts. Representing beneficiaries, executors, trustees and institutional clients, we administer estates and litigate disputes involving wills, trusts and guardianship estates. We provide counsel on all types of probate and the administration of guardianship and decedent estates and trusts, and advise on the tax ramifications involved in estates and trusts. We also help clients set up and administer guardianships for minor children and disabled adults. No matter how big or how small the estate or trust, we are right there with you every step of the way.

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Estate & Trust Administration & Litigation Services

Estate and trust administration

Our attorneys assist in administering a loved one’s estate from start to finish.

Estate administration. We represent estates of all sizes to provide authority to collect assets, pay debts and transfer assets to the named beneficiary. We assist in the opening of a probate estate and oversee its administration through the court until closing and everything in between. We handle probate for both decedent estates and guardianship estates (for disabled adults and minors), and we represent both individual and institutional clients through the entire process.

Trust administration.We advise trustees on their fiduciary duty as well as all of the tasks associated with trust administration, including:

  • Transfer of assets
  • Payment of taxes and expenses
  • Succession of business interests
  • Advising on when to contest expenses
  • Preparation of trust and estate tax returns
  • Obtaining tax identification numbers
  • Providing required notice to beneficiaries
Estate and trust litigation

Disputes involving estates and trusts typically involve more than money, including emotional issues that can fracture families and interfere with the ability of a trustee to properly administer the trust or estate. Our estate and trust litigators work to create solutions that avoid costly litigation – through mediation, for example – and preserve family relationships. However, if a situation remains adversarial, our team works vigorously to protect your interests. We handle all aspects of the litigation process, including:

  • Will and trust contests
  • Claims of undue influence and tortious interference
  • Disputes over capacity issues
  • Contested guardianships
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Citations and probate claims
  • Accounting disputes and distribution of assets
  • Citations to discover/recover assets
  • Will or trust construction concerning ambiguous language
  • Power of attorney challenges

We represent court-appointed executors, administrators and guardians, as well as trustees, beneficiaries and heirs at law. In addition to individual clients, we represent corporate and institutional fiduciaries.

Estate and tax return preparation

Minimizing death tax obligations, recognizing post-mortem tax opportunities. With one of the largest and most comprehensive estate administration practices in Illinois, Chuhak & Tecson attorneys have extensive experience counseling representatives of estates and trusts as to estate tax return filing obligations. In addition to assembling the necessary tax returns, we review the tax minimization strategies and planning prior to death and, when possible, pursue opportunities to reduce taxes.

In addition, our lawyers handle audits of estate and gift tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies. If all issues cannot be resolved through the audit process, we file appeals and, if necessary, petition cases to the tax court. We have extensive experience in these contested matters and routinely handle such cases referred to our firm from certified public accountants and other attorneys.

Guardianship administration and litigation

Bringing a sensitive and compassionate approach to difficult family issues. Guardianship can be a burdensome and emotional process for families. Our attorneys understand this and are experienced in listening and providing you with the answers you need. Whether your loved one is a minor or a disabled adult, we walk you through the process of opening the guardianship estate as well as continued administration of the estate with the court. We represent court-appointed guardians, individuals, family members and institutional clients.

When litigation of a guardianship is necessary, we bring a wide range of experience, having advised on:

  • Competency disputes
  • Contested hearings
  • Representation and defense of appointment of guardians
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Undue influence claims
  • Disputes concerning assets

Our team includes attorneys with the Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) designation from the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) as well as lawyers who previously worked for the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian and who currently act as guardians ad litem in guardianship estates.

Wealth preservation and transfer

Preserving family legacies through skillful transfer of assets. We represent clients in carrying out estate plans and trusts that maximize the transfer of wealth from one generation of a family to those that follow. As estates and trusts are administered and distributions made, we advise on:

  • Preparation of estate tax returns.
  • Minimizing income, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes on current and future assets.
  • Management of assets during client incapacity.
  • Protection of family assets from outsiders such as divorcing spouses and creditors.
  • Beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, retirement accounts and IRAs.
  • Carrying out business succession and continuation plans.

In addition, because our team includes lawyers who have experience handling nearly every situation, we know how to work with accountants, bankers, financial advisors and insurance professionals.