After the death of a loved one, many family members find themselves juggling A LOT. Between dividing assets, carrying out someone’s wishes, and tending to legalities (all while grieving) can be overwhelming.
The loss of a loved one is a challenging time for the entire family, especially when it comes to settling the deceased’s affairs. That’s the last thing anyone wants to deal with. The grief makes it harder to process the legalities of the matter, and in Illinois, the probate process can make it even more complicated.
That’s why it’s essential to understand the probate process beforehand so you are prepared to deal with these affairs properly as the need arises. We’re here to help ease your burden when it comes to understanding the probate process in Illinois!
Attorney Ben Weaver provides a comprehensive guide to understanding Illinois probate law, its advantages, and a sneak peak of the proceedings you can expect…
What is Probate, and When Does It Apply?
We’ll start with the basics – what is probate? Probate is a legal process that overlooks the distribution of assets and the estate management of a deceased person. Probate ensures distribution according to the deceased’s will or state law, in case there’s no will or estate plan.
Basically, in Illinois probate is required in cases where the deceased has no will or estate plans in place. We highly suggest everyone plan their affairs in advance so nothing is left up to chance, or the courts!
Advantages of Probate Law
The distribution of assets through probate may seem unfair or daunting to some people, but the process is beneficial. Here are some advantages of probate in Illinois…
- It is a structured way of distributing the deceased’s assets – whether by their wishes or the state law.
- Probate ensures the settlement of debts. All creditors are notified, so they can make claims against the estate and recover their money.
- Since the transfer of assets takes place legally under probate, you are less likely to face legal complications in the future regarding any title transfers.
- The court supervises the process, including settling disputes. It ensures a fair resolution among all beneficiaries.
- Managing the deceased’s assets can be tough for some, and they may delay the process. Under the probate process, the matter is wrapped up by the court. This gives the family a sense of finality and encourages them to move forward.
Overview of the Probate Process in Illinois
The probate process is structured and organized. In Illinois, you can expect the following stages:
- To begin the process, a petition must be filed in the local county where the deceased lived. The court appoints an executioner – this is the person stated as an executioner in the will. If there is no will, the court appoints someone.
- The executor audits the deceased’s assets. An appraisal then takes place to calculate the value of the assets.
- The next step is to notify all the creditors of the death. It allows them to file their claims against the estate in settlement of their debts.
- The deceased’s assets are first used to pay off taxes, debts, and outstanding dues.
- The remaining assets are split according to the will. If there is no will, the division of assets takes place according to state law.
- After settling all debts and distributing all assets, the court officially closes the estate. It brings the probate process to an end.
How Can an Estate Attorney Help Your Family Navigate Probate?
The probate process can be overwhelming and complicated. Following the death of a close one, you are less likely to be in the right headspace to deal with legal matters and appear in court. At this stage, having an experienced estate attorney by your side can help your family navigate the process with ease. They will not only offer you legal advice, but also educate and support clients. A lawyer can sort through the legalities of the process, representing your best interests and doing the hard work so you can rest and grieve in peace.
Here’s a preview of how attorney Ben Weaver can assist you during the probate process:
- Educate and inform you about the process and proceedings
- Appear in court on your behalf and the executioner’s
- Keep all documents updated relating to the legal transfers
- Advocate on your behalf and represent you in case conflicts and disputes arise
Successful Illinois Probate with 23 Legal
23 Legal can help you plan your estate, stand by your family in difficult times, and undertake legal formalities on your behalf. Find someone trustworthy to represent your best interests and wishes. With Ben Weaver by your side, rest assured that your matters will be dealt with carefully, properly, and transparently, allowing you the space to grieve in peace after a loss.
These things are never easy, but we’d like to help lighten your load during a difficult time. Reach out to 23 Legal with any questions or concerns you may have about estate planning or the probate process in Illinois.
Need help with estate planning? Navigating probate law?
Accomplish your real estate goals with 23 Legal: (847) 447-6004
Why Choose 23 Legal
23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.