Probate and Estate Administration

Frequently Asked Questions about Probate and Estate Administration

1. When Someone Dies What Happens With Their Will?

The original Will of the deceased should be filed in the county where the individual died or resided at the time of death. As a firm that specializes in this area of law, we are able to complete this for you. If that person leaves assets, those assets are distributed, either according to their estate documents or according to state law.

2. How Does My Estate Get Distributed?

One way is through the administration of the estate overseen by the Probate Court. Probating an Estate requires the Probate Court to appoint an Executor or Administrator and for that individual to secure a bond and provide proof of the bond to the Probate Court.

If you have a Will, your Will becomes part of the public record. Typically, the court will appoint the Executor you have named in your Will. In addition, you may state in your Will that the Executor does not have to secure a bond and that you want independent instead of supervised administration of your estate. Both of these items make it easier for your Executor to transfer your assets while working with the Probate Court.

When the assets of the Estate are below a certain dollar amount and there is no real estate to transfer, the Estate is considered a Small Estate and probate is not necessary. In this case, typically only a Small Estate Affidavit is required. If there is a Will, this is done by the Executor. Otherwise, this is typically completed by the next of kin as determined by state law.

3. What Is Probate?

Probate is the public process of:

  • Filing and validating the will in court
  • Paying all the debts and taxes of the deceased person
  • Distributing the assets according to the will or Illinois law

The administrator or executor of the Estate will oversee the property and has the right to sign documents, sell property, and distribute assets on behalf of the Estate. This process can be complicated if the deceased had complicated finances of left no Will.

Contact Chicago Probate Law Attorneys

To schedule an appointment with a probate and estate administration attorney, call 773-878-4480 or contact us by e-mail.