Probate Lawyer in Barrington IL

Attorney Practices Probate Law in Cook and Lake Counties

Probate Lawyer in Barrington ILThe process of estate administration in Illinois refers to the practice of managing the estate of a deceased individual. The estate is comprised of property, money, stocks, personal belongings and more. Estate administration may involve but is not limited to, the creation of an inventory of assets, payment of debts and taxes, and distribution of assets to the heirs of the deceased. Commonly the process is initiated by the named executor in the will of the deceased by filing a petition within the local probate department regarding the last will and testament. In the absence of a will, the petition will lead to probate appointing an administrator. Executors and administrators are broadly referred to representatives, and their duties are based on the Illinois Probate Act.

For over two decades, families in the greater Barrington area have trusted The Gierach Law Firm to handles matters involved with estate planning, estate administration, and probate. Our lengthy track record of success is based on a stable commitment to offer personalized and timely legal counsel leading to overall client satisfaction.

Property and Assets

  • Inventory: Under certain circumstances, the representative is required to file a confirmed inventory of the real and personal estate. If the representative becomes aware of additional contents belonging to the estate, they are to submit a supplemental inventory update within 60 days. A common means of locating assets or accounts is to have the deceased’s mail forwarded to an attorney or representative.
  • Appraisal: If deemed necessary, the representative should determine the value of items within the estate, which may be done by employing and compensating an impartial appraiser.

Outstanding Debts

The representative will insure that funeral costs are paid, notify all creditors of the death, publish legal notices, and satisfy outstanding bills and taxes. In addition, they are to confirm the validity of debts and defend such claims as needed. This may include any utilities, credit accounts, mortgages, employee wages owed, taxes and others.

Collection of Money Owed to Estate

The representative is responsible for compiling accounting and receipts for financial transactions that occur relative to the estate. Responsibilities for preservation, management, and insurance of assets are a primary focus. Collection and the pursuit of claims owed to the estate are to be conducted, which also may include any life insurance proceeds.

Distribution and Selling of Assets

The assets of the estate are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. Part of this process involves locating any listed heirs. The sale of assets such as homes, vehicles, and stocks may be needed to convert them to cash for distribution.

Will Contention

An interested party may file a petition within six months after the estate enters probate challenging a will’s validity. Copies of the petition are to be sent to the estate representative, any legal counsel involved, and other named heirs or legatees. The representative has a duty to defend such contests of the will; if one has not been appointed yet, or is unable or willing to do so, the court may appoint a special representative if needed.

The processes involved with probate and administering an estate can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly for executors who reside outside of the area where the deceased lived. For this reason, it is best to proactively create and maintain a comprehensive estate plan with experienced legal assistance. With a plan in place, the process can be executed much more efficiently. Those who have yet to establish an estate plan, or have not updated aspects of their plan recently, are encouraged to contact The Gierach Law Firm at 630-756-1160 for a consultation.