FAQs: What Happens in Probate Court?

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FAQs: What Happens in Probate Court?  | Mario Godoy | Lombard Estate Planning Lawyer

Probate is a legal process to ensure that the deceased’s will is valid and that any taxes and debts are paid and that the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the law. In many situations, formal probate is required only if the assets solely owned by the deceased are valued at more than $100,000 and/or contain real estate. Generally, the person named as executor in the deceased person’s will is responsible for overseeing the probate. The estate executor must work with a probate attorney throughout the process as required by the Court. An experienced probate attorney can help ensure that all necessary steps are taken within the proper time frame.

If the deceased person did not leave a will, the court will appoint an administrator who will act as an executor.

Not every will goes through probate. Some people create an estate plan that uses living trusts and other tools to manage their assets and avoid going to probate.

What Happens in Illinois Probate Court

  1. The court officially appoints an executor.
  2. The executor files a petition for probate in the county where the deceased person was living at the time of death.
  3. The executor files the death certificate and will, if there is one, with the court.
  4. The executor establishes the estate as a separate tax-paying identity with the I.R.S.
  5. The executor oversees payment of all estate federal, state and local taxes.
  6. The executor notifies beneficiaries and creditors of the deceased’s death.
  7. The executor gets the court’s permission to distribute property and assets and pay creditors.
  8. The executor pays any probate and estate administration fees.
  9. The executor oversees payment of creditors and beneficiaries.
  10. The executor files receipts and documentation of all payments and distribution of assets, and then asks the court to be released from the executor duties.

Probate court and the process of settling an estate in Illinois takes at minimum 6 months and even years for complicated estates. The probate court process can be confusing and time-consuming. Many estate executors hire an experienced probate attorney to manage the probate course process and make sure the interests of the deceased and their heirs are protected.

Learn More:

An experienced probate attorney can help you manage the probate legal process. To talk to a Cook and DuPage County Illinois attorney, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois at (630) 800-0112.