Whether you are interested in drafting a will for the future of your estate or have been selected as a personal representative, there are important aspects of estate administration in Lombard that an attorney could help you understand and prepare for. Reach out to a legal representative today for the help you need.
The authority an individual has in determining who their estate administrator is granted by their last will and testament. If an individual wants to name their administrator, they have to appoint an executor by and through their will. If no executor is appointed in a will or there is no will, then that person would have no control over who would become their eventual estate administrator. In the case of intestate estates, there is a series of laws in Illinois about the priority in which administrators could serve. Usually, it defaults to the spouse and then to the kids. If an individual wants to name a specific child or any entity, or maybe they do not want any of their children to serve as their executor or they do not want their spouse to serve as their administrator, they need to appoint an executor by and through a will. That is one of the many reasons why it is very important to have a will in place that properly reflects their wishes.
Some important things to look for in an estate administrator include trustworthiness. The state administrator would have access to every asset that is owned by the individual and by their estate. There are protections in place. In the probate court, for example, the estate administrator is going to have to file accounts and they are going to have to account to all the beneficiaries as to what they did with the money.
However, an administrator would be able to transfer all the individual’s assets into a bank account. They would have the checks for that account, so they could write a check to themselves or to one of their own loved ones and a bank would honor it.
They could be held accountable for that. Law firms hold estate administrators that have not properly administered the estate or breached any of their fiduciary duties to the estate accountable. To avoid that problem in the first place, it is a good idea to appoint an estate administrator that is trustworthy.
It would be helpful to have an estate administrator with experience with various types of assets and accounting. They do not need to have prepared accounting in the past, but they should know the ins and outs of managing a bank account.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of estate administration in Lombard is knowing when to ask for help. For example, that administrator is going to need attorneys, CPAs, and accountants. The more an estate is complicated the greater necessity for these outside professionals. Some administrators get into trouble because they think that they could do certain things themselves when they need assistance from professionals, such as an attorney.
Our firm’s approach to estate administration is to keep it as streamlined as possible. Estate administration could be accomplished in several steps, and depending on the estate those steps could get complicated. The first step is marshaling the assets. Then the administrator or executor takes steps to gather all the assets into a single place. Once that is complete, it becomes time to distribute.
Our firm’s approach to estate administration is to provide advice and guidance in each and one of those main steps because at the end of estate administration our firm would be preparing a final account that reflects every penny that came in and every penny that came out of the estate. It is important to keep those two steps separate.
Some unique characteristics of Lombard laws that could impact the estate administration process fall under certain rules that the circuit court of DuPage County has with respect to probate. For example, DuPage County requires that every administrator post a bond. Whether or not that bond requires a surety is dependent on the language of a will if there is one. In all cases, the administrator or the executor would need to post a bond. That differs from a place. In Cook County, if they wave surety, then all the executor has to do is post a no-surety bond, which does not list any dollar amount. In DuPage County, the court requires that a bond be posted by the administrator, even if the will waived surety.
Some unique characteristics of Lombard, generally, that might impact estate administration consist of the fact that a lot of Lombard residents also own property, like a lake or vacation property in Wisconsin, Michigan, or some other state. If a resident of Lombard passes away in Lombard, then that estate would be opened in Lombard and the probate process, the estate administration process, could still take place in Lombard.
However, if they owned a vacation property or lake property in Michigan, for example, then an ancillary probate proceeding would need to be opened in Michigan and the property either sold or distributed to beneficiaries through that Michigan proceeding. It is an aspect of Illinois and Lombard law in which if real property is in another jurisdiction outside of Illinois, a separate estate needs to be opened in that other estate.
With the many important aspects of estate administration in Lombard, it is critical that you take every step possible to fulfill your fiduciary and legal obligations. To start, try reaching out to a team of experienced attorneys who could assist you through the administrative process.