Illinois Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers
Attorneys for Trust Administration and Probate Court Representation in the Chicago Area
The death of a loved one is never easy. Dealing with the emotional impact of the loss can be hard enough, and things can become much more complex for those who are tasked with managing a person’s affairs, attending to their final wishes, and ensuring that their assets are distributed to their heirs. If you have been named the executor of a loved one’s estate, or if you are a trustee who needs to ensure that a person’s assets will be distributed according to their instructions, an attorney who is experienced in estate planning and estate administration can provide the assistance you need.
At the Gierach Law Firm, we can not only help you create a comprehensive estate plan that will meet your family’s needs, but we work with family members to ensure that these plans are followed correctly both during a person’s life and after their death. We have more than 30 years of experience helping individuals and families address matters related to trusts and estates. We can answer your questions and provide you with legal representation to ensure that all procedures related to estate administration are completed properly.
Wills and Probate
A last will and testament will nominate a person as the executor of the estate of the deceased person, who is known as the “decedent.” The executor’s duties include filing the decedent’s will in the local probate court and ensuring that the proper procedures are followed during the probate process. If a person dies without a valid will, a personal representative will be nominated to administer the estate throughout the probate process.
During the probate process, the executor or personal representative will gather information about the decedent’s finances and affairs and prepare an inventory of the assets they own and any debts they owe. The executor or personal representative will also pay any outstanding debts, file tax returns for federal and state income taxes and estate taxes, address any taxes that are due, locate and notify the decedent’s heirs and creditors, and ensure that all assets are properly distributed to the person’s beneficiaries.
Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the probate process will take at least six months, (the claims period) and maybe longer, if there are tax and other issues. It may involve a variety of legal and financial issues as the executor or personal representative gathers the necessary information and addresses all outstanding concerns related to the decedent’s affairs. In some cases, an estate may be contested, and probate litigation may be necessary to resolve disputes involving beneficiaries, family members, or creditors.
The estate administration process may be simplified if the decedent had created a trust. Assets held in a trust can be passed to beneficiaries without the need to go through the probate process. However, a trustee will be required to follow certain procedures following the death of the person who created the trust. In addition to ensuring that assets are managed properly and distributed to beneficiaries according to the instructions provided by the trust maker, a trustee may also need to file tax returns, pay outstanding taxes and debts, and provide a full accounting to the trust’s beneficiaries. A skilled trust administration attorney can ensure these steps are completed correctly and help avoid disputes related to the disposition of assets or the management of the trust.
Contact Our Naperville Estate Administration Attorneys
If you are the executor or personal representative of an estate or a trustee who will need to ensure that a trust is managed correctly, the Gierach Law Firm, LLC can assist you throughout the probate or trust administration process. We will make sure you follow the correct procedures and help you resolve any issues that may arise. Contact us today in Naperville at 630-756-1160 or in Hoffman Estates at 847-519-0505.