Probate is the legal process of closing a deceased person’s estate. This can include paying bills and distributing the inheritance. When the estate is small, under $100,000.00, you can bypass probate court and close the estate yourself. Even if the estate is large, executors sometimes choose to work without the help of a probate attorney. Clients ask themself, ‘Can I handle probate on my own?’ Our response is that certain pitfalls inherently follow someone trying to negotiate a legal process without the help of an attorney.
Closing an estate can be a time-consuming and tedious process. It can take anywhere from 6 -12 months to close an average estate, longer if more assets and beneficiaries are involved. Being an executor of someone’s will is a challenging process that you may not want to try to do yourself. Working with a probate attorney can help you with any or all responsibilities of being an executor.
There is much more than simply distributing assets. An executor is responsible for:
This is a lot for one person to take on, especially if you have never been an executor of a will before.
The better question may be, why would you attempt to handle this complicated process alone? Anytime legal documents are involved, it’s best to seek help from an attorney. Especially when the estate is worth over $100,000.00, there can be some distrust that the executor is not handling the closing of the estate properly. Emotions are raw after the passing of a loved one, and it can be difficult for everyone.
Beneficiaries may not understand the entire process and distrust the executor for several reasons:
There is no reason to go through this process alone.
Working with an experienced probate attorney will take some of the burden off you. The attorney can handle filing the documents with the courts and other legal steps, leaving you to handle the items you can. And, if there is a dispute – it is best to have an unaffiliated party step in and explain the will and the law to the beneficiaries. At Estate and Probate Legal Group, we can help you with the probate process.
Do you have questions about Illinois probate? You do not have to go through probate alone. An experienced probate lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified probate attorney in Chicago, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.
Areas We Serve: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.