Need Help Administering or Probating an Estate?
The Law Offices of Laura D. Frye Ltd. offers skilled legal service in probate proceedings and estate administration for clients throughout Illinois & Wisconsin. Serving as a representative of an estate is a serious responsibility and one in which you will need knowledgeable legal counsel for guidance throughout the process. You will want to ensure that both you and the estate are protected and that any problems or complications are handled effectively and per the law.
Probate Attorneys in Lake County IL.
Probate is the court-supervised process where an appointed representative handles the administration of an estate of a deceased person. The representative is responsible for identifying and collecting all of the property and assets, paying any financial obligations made against the estate, and distributing the remaining balance to the proper beneficiaries and heirs. The probate process is governed by state law, which sets forth the procedure for the settlement of an estate.
Many factors will determine how and if an estate is probated, including the value of assets and how they are titled, whether or not the decedent left a valid will, whether the estate is contested, and other considerations. Probate administration may be either supervised, requiring court approval for most actions taken by a representative or they may be independently administered, which allows the representative to take action without prior approval. Representatives are responsible for notifying and dealing with creditors, heirs, and other beneficiaries, with the collection, valuation, management, and liquidation where necessary of property and assets, such as real estate, investments, business interests, valuable collections, and personal property.
Understanding Probate In Illinois
In Illinois, probate court is used to ensure that assets of a deceased person are correctly distributed to concerned parties such as a spouse, children, adopted children, siblings, or other heirs or legatees. Additionally, such proceedings determine how outstanding debts of the deceased will be paid. The executor of an estate who is named in a will usually begins the probate process by filing documents in court in the county where the deceased person died or had his last residence.
Probate proceedings are not always required. For example, those who establish enforceable trusts may bypass the probate process altogether. If the deceased had limited assets in his estate, probate can also be avoided by a Small Estate Affidavit used to handle the small estate. Some assets may be titled in a manner that avoids the probate process, including:
- Accounts that are payable after death
- Assets held in joint tenancy
- Transfer on death real estate deeds
- Some life insurance policies
Nevertheless, in some situations, distributing your estate through the probate court has some advantages over avoiding going through probate in the court system.
Navigating Probate Issues And Providing Complete Administration
There are a number of activities that take place in probate. Besides asset distribution and debt management, there may be tax obligations that must be handled. At times, other issues may arise such as contested estates, wills and trusts.
A comprehensive, enforceable estate plan is of paramount importance. The Law Offices of Laura D. Frye Ltd. can help you properly set up your estate plan. We stand by our work and can defend you in probate litigation matters, should they arise. We also provide legal counsel and representation for estate administration, probate administration and the establishment of guardianships.
Please contact Laura D. Frye to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your probate and estate administration matter. If you decide to retain us, we will be pleased to help you navigate your legal concerns. We provide flexible appointment times at our offices in Gurnee, IL.