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Schaumburg Probate Attorney

Rolling Meadows Probate Attorney

Estate Administration Attorneys Guiding You Through the Probate Process in the Northwest Suburbs

When a person dies, their property will need to be distributed among their heirs, and their last wishes will need to be carried out. Depending on a person's assets and whether they have created a will or trust, it may be necessary to complete the legal process of probate.

The Probate Process

The purpose of probate is to clarify who will inherit the property of a deceased person (also known as the decedent) and determine how to pay any of their outstanding debts. Probate will be handled by the executor named in the deceased person's will (or, if there is no will, an administrator of the estate that has been appointed by the court), and that person will identify and appraise the deceased person's assets, pay any outstanding debts and taxes, and distribute the property to the deceased person's heirs.

Following the death of a decedent, their executor will file their will with their local court, and, if probate is necessary, they will file a petition to open a probate estate. The executor must send a notice to the deceased person's heirs, provide public notice of the probate case through a newspaper, and directly notify any known creditors. Creditors will have six months to file any claims against the estate.

During probate, the executor will gather and inventory the estate's assets, file tax returns for the estate, and pay any required estate taxes. After any creditor claims have been paid and a full accounting of the estate has been made, the executor will distribute the remaining assets to the decedent's heirs according to the terms of the will, or if there is no will, according to Illinois intestate law. The probate process typically takes 8-12 months, unless the will is contested.

When Is Probate Necessary?

Whether probate is necessary following the death of a decedent depends on the decedent's assets and how they were owned. Generally, probate is only necessary if the decedent was the sole owner of their assets and the total value of all assets is more than $100,000. If the estate is worth less than $100,000 and does not contain real estate, the estate may be able to be settled using a small asset affidavit. Some assets are not subject to probate, including property held in a trust, jointly held property, and life insurance plans or retirement accounts for which a beneficiary has been named.

Assisting With the Probate Process in Arlington Heights

At Anderson and Associates, P.C., our estate administration attorneys have over 30 years of experience handling wills, trusts, and probate matters. If you have been named as the executor of an estate, we can advise you on your duties and responsibilities and guide you through the probate process to make sure you have met all your legal requirements. Please contact us at 847-995-9999 to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago including Rolling Meadows, Palatine and Arlington Heights.

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