Monday, October 5, 2015

New Illinois Law on "Presumptively Void" Bequests to Non-Family Caregivers Has "Starring" Role

Illinois adopted a new law, Public Act 098-1093, effective on January 1, 2015 that assigns a "presumptively void" status to bequests made to non-family caregivers, if the transfer would take effect upon the death of the cared-for person.  The law applies only to post-effective date bequests that are greater than $20,000 in fair market value.  The statutory presumption can be "overcome if the transferee proves to the court" either:

1. by a preponderance of the evidence that the transferee's share under the transfer instrument is not greater than the share the transferee was entitled to receive under ... a transfer instrument in effect prior to the transferee becoming a caregiver, or


2. by clear and convincing evidence the transfer was not the product of  fraud, duress or undue influence.

The law only applies in civil actions where the transfer is challenged by other beneficiaries or heirs. 

(Fun) Spoiler Alert:  The new law plays a clever "starring role" in the Fall 2015 season premiere of  The Good Wife.  Let's see how many of our law students were watching!

Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Estates and Trusts, Ethical Issues, Film, Property Management, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink


I've seen this happen a few times (caregivers receiving a large bequest from the recipients of their caregiving). It's never happened in any of the client cases that we have had in my own non-medical in-home caregiving company. I know of a few cases where it has happened, though, with caregivers in some other home care agencies.

To tell the truth, where I have seen it happen most often, and in a few cases for huge amounts of money and/or property, has been in cases where the clients or the clients' families hired a caregiver privately or through one of the non-employer "registry" or "referral agency" companies.

You'd think people would know better: If you wouldn't trust an Uber driver to drive your elderly parent around, why on earth would you hire a caregiver that you've never met via an online service. How can you be really sure that the online service did a proper criminal background check and driving record check? How do you know for certain that the person is competent to provide the care that your parent really needs?

Posted by: Tim Colling | Oct 5, 2015 12:52:57 PM

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