Itasca Probate Attorneys
Probate Attorneys Serving DuPage County
When a loved one dies, the weeks that follow can be surreal and overwhelming. If you have been named the executor of your loved one’s estate, you will have numerous responsibilities to fulfill at this difficult time, including going through the probate process. At Knauf Law (previously Pankau Law), we guide clients through probate and help ensure your duties as executor are properly handled. We work with individuals and families during some of the worst periods in their lives. Our attorneys are compassionate and understanding, and we strive to make the probate process as painless and efficient as possible.
Navigating the Probate Process in Illinois
In Illinois, the probate process is used to identify and verify who the heirs and legates of a deceased person are and to ensure legally enforceable debts and taxes are paid by the estate and that the assets are transferred pursuant to the terms of the will. The executor of the will is in charge of handling the probate process. Being an executor can be time-consuming and an exasperating responsibility. The executor has a fiduciary duty to the estate to execute probate properly. If the executor does not follow the court’s directions and the terms of the will, the executor can be held personally liable. The duties of the executor include but are not limited to the following:
- Locate and file the will within 30 days of the decedent’s death;
- Fill out the necessary court documents and filing them with the appropriate jurisdiction;
- Set the petition for probate on the Judge’s calendar;
- Send out notices to all interested parties and obtaining waivers from them, if possible, prior to the court appearance;
- Appear in court to obtain Letters of Office for the executor;
- Publish in a local newspaper the required notice for creditors to start the 6 month notice period;
- Obtain an EIN for the estate in order to open bank accounts;
- Take inventory and collect the estate’s assets;
- Have the assets valued;
- Keep the heirs and legatees informed;
- After the 6 months claims period has ended, if there will be sufficient assets, use the assets to pay all legitimate debts and taxes;
- Prepare an estate accounting and distribute it to all interested parties and obtain a signed release from them approving of the accounting and distribution;
- Appear before the judge with the signed releases and close the estate; and
- Distribute remaining assets to beneficiaries of the will.
This is just a basic outline and assumes there is a will and there are sufficient assets to pay all outstanding creditors and there are no contests or disputes and all of the heirs and legatees are known. If there is no will or unknown heirs or insufficient assets to pay all claims, the process gets more interesting.
Accomplishing these tasks can be a tall order depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Our attorneys offer a full range of estate administration services. We are experienced in handling the nuances of the probate process and we can make sure that all of your legal duties are handled properly. We pay close attention to detail and ensure all of the “t’s” are crossed and “i’s” are dotted from the beginning of probate until the closure of the estate. We make this difficult time easier by providing peace of mind that the legalities of the probate process are in good hands.
If you require experienced legal guidance through the probate process, contact us at 630-875-0500 to schedule a consultation to discuss you needs. We will answer your questions and explain how we can lighten your burden. Our office is in Itasca, IL and we work with clients throughout Cook County, DuPage County, and Kane County.