Frequently Asked Questions About Probate and Estate Administration
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. If that person leaves assets, those assets are distributed, either according to their estate documents or according to state law. As Chicago probate law attorneys, we are able to guide and inform our clients through every step of the process.
What is Probate?
After a person dies, those that they leave behind will enter into a complex legal and financial process to address the deceased’s estate. This process is called probate. Actions that occur during probate include:
- Filing and validating the last will and testament 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.
How Do Estates 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. That individual will need 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, rather than 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.
How Can Metz & Jones Help?
If you were named as the executor in a will, the Chicago LGBT Lawyers at Jill M. Metz & Associates can help you with the legal requirements for distributing the deceased’s estate. Our Chicago probate law attorneys will appear in court as required, as well as assist in the transfer of assets, the resolution of claims, and the implementation of the decedent’s estate plan.
If you are a beneficiary of someone who is deceased, Metz & Jones LLC will help represent your interests at this difficult time and can further guide you through the probate process and assist you in determining the legal proceeding that is best suited for your situation. We will appear in court as required, assist in the transfer of assets, the resolution of claims, and the implementation of the decedent’s estate plan. The laws are complex, and professional legal advice in this area is important.
Contact Our Chicago Probate Law Attorneys
Our clients appreciate the firm’s sound advice, discretion, and deep concern for their well-being and that of their families. In assisting you through the probate process, we will review your situation, explore your values, and discuss your goals for yourself and your family and the process by which they can be best achieved. To schedule an appointment with a probate and estate administration attorney, call 773-878-4480 or contact us by e-mail.