Probate Administration
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Barrington Probate Administration Lawyers

Skilled Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Inverness, Palatine, and Across the Area

Generally, when an individual passes away, his or her estate must go through probate. Probate is the process by which the decedent's assets are shifted to those who will inherit them. The process begins at death, and estates are facilitated by a personal representative. When an individual has a will, the will has a designated representative or executor. In the absence of a will, this representative is referred to as an administrator, typically nominated by the family of the deceased. Lucas Law has been providing probate administration services to clients for over 25 years.

Matters Handled in Probate Court

Probate courts, such as the Circuit Clerk's Civil Division in McHenry County, handle property administration for the deceased, as well as the personal and financial concerns of the mentally or physically disabled, and those under the age of 18.

Duty of Executor to Present Will

The named executor in a will of the deceased must present the document for admittance to probate within 30 days. If this does not occur without good cause, the court may deny them the right to act as the executor and proceed as if they were disqualified.

Will Contests

After a will is submitted to probate, interested parties may file a petition contesting the document's validity. This party may demand a jury trial, and provide evidence relative to the invalidity of the document. The named executor has a duty to defend the contention.

Rules of Descent and Distribution

In the absence of a will, the court then seeks to satisfy all valid claims on the estate, and distribute the estate in the following manner:

  • If there is a surviving spouse and a descendant(s), half of the estate is distributed to the spouse, and half is distributed among the descendant(s).
  • If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant(s), the full estate is distributed to the descendant(s).
  • If there is a surviving spouse and no descendant(s), the full estate is distributed to the spouse.
  • In the absence of a spouse or descendants, the estate is distributed among any parents or siblings.
  • In the absence of a spouse, descendant, parent, or sibling, then a grandparent is eligible for distribution.

Duties of Executors & Administrators

  • Send out legal notices.
  • Collect and inventory the estate's assets
  • Provide records of accountings and receipts
  • Preserve, manage, and insure assets and business during the probate administration
  • Obtain asset valuation, appraisal, and sell property that is not distributed in kind
  • Transfer assets such as stocks, bonds, and bank accounts
  • Collect life insurance benefits
  • Resolve, pursue and defend claims against the estate
  • File the decedent's final income tax and gift tax returns
  • Make disbursements and distributions

Claims Against the Estate

Claims against the estate may be filed with the representative or the court, and within ten days a copy should be sent to those whom letters of office where issued and to any attorney of record. Assistance from an experienced lawyer is recommended when the validity of a claim is in question.

Small Estates

Wills with assets under a total of $100,000 do not need to be probated. Rather, a small estate affidavit can be completed to handle the transaction.

Are you struggling as an appointed representative administering the estate of a deceased loved one? Were you named as the executor of an Illinois estate but live elsewhere? The legal team at Lucas Law will assist you in navigating the administration of the estate. Contact our office for a consultation at 847-381-8700 today.

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