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Trusts and Estates

Our Practice

As counsel to high net worth individuals and trust companies, we handle virtually every type of estate, guardianship, and trust administration situation.

We provide the highest level of comprehensive trust administration services. Lawyers in our Trusts and Estates Practice Group regularly administer diverse trusts created as probate avoidance vehicles for decedents, disabled persons and minors' estates.

Clients value our experience in the full range of guardianship issues involving minors and disabled adults. Our court-supervised estate planning for minors and disabled adults includes the creation of special needs trusts, such as OBRA 93 Payback Trusts.

Pedersen lawyers are often retained to resolve complex contested and unusual administration issues for both trustee and beneficiary clients. In addition, we represent trust companies in such probate issues as trust construction suits involving ambiguity of wills and contested accounting issues.

Our Experience

  • Represented a group of trust beneficiaries when a European financial institution sued the trustee and trust estate. Additionally represented the same beneficiaries in a suit against the trustee for misappropriation of funds. Successful litigation restored diverted funds, settled with the European bank, and replaced the trustee.
  • Represented a class of beneficiaries in a substantial probate estate who successfully petitioned the Probate Court to have an executor removed for mismanagement of estate assets. We further assisted the substituted executor in collecting a substantial sum from the surety bondsman to reimburse the estate for mismanagement.
  • Successfully represented an appellant co-executor's challenge of an Illinois Court of Appeals decision affirming a trial court's decision stating that a trust provision was unenforceable. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the ruling, affirming that the public policy of Illinois valued freedom of testation.
  • Represented an estate administrator in the cross-appeal of a complex case involving a caretaker's claim to recover funds from joint convenience accounts. The appellate court reversed the monetary award for services performed and remanded the case to the trial court for a recalculation of the award for services rendered.