The probate process involves many steps. Therefore, it may be wise for you to seek the services of an experienced probate lawyer. An attorney could help you with planning and making a smooth transition with your or your loved one’s affairs. To learn more about the benefits of a Lombard probate lawyer, call today.
There is a difference between supervised and independent administration. If there needs to be probate opened, then that probate would be done independently. Most of the time, a lawyer wants to go to court for an estate just the first and the last time—one to open, one to close. That is possible in an independently administered estate.
The vast majority of estates are independent administration, which means that the personal representative can take any significant steps, such as selling real estate, selling cars, and paying expenses. They can do that without court intervention or court approval. It is essential to keep in mind that even in an independently administered estate, the representative would still answer to all the beneficiaries or heirs. Even though there is no technical court oversight of each action, they may not take all the money for themselves because they are still required to account and to answer to everyone entitled to a piece of the estate.
The flip-side of that is a supervised administered estate in which every major action needs to be approved by the court. An inventory is filed with the court, and the account is filed with the court. Any time they want to expend funds in the course of the estate, such as they want to pay an accountant to do the taxes, pay an appraiser to appraise the real property, or sell real property, they need approval from the court. All expenditures have to be court approved. With all the decisions that need to be made and the actions that need to take place, it could result in a few different court appearances for a lawyer when it supervised administration.
The main benefit of having an experienced Lombard probate lawyer represent a person going through the probate process is personal representative, which is that often required by the probate court. A probate estate is a legal entity separate from the personal representative, and it is that entity that the lawyer is representing. In Illinois, someone could represent themselves without a lawyer, but they may not represent another person or entity without being a lawyer, such as a probate estate. In some cases, a judge would not enter the order or would refuse to open the estate unless a lawyer is filing their appearance at the same time.
Also, there are other numerous reasons to retain the services of an experienced probate lawyer. For example, there are several technical requirements that if not followed could lead to a delay for months in opening or closing an estate. Also, after an estate is opened, a notice needs to be published in a particular newspaper or newspapers regarding the opening of the estate. If that notice is not published and a person shows up to court to try and close the estate, the judge would make them wait a month or longer. Even if they have already done everything else, judges could make them keep the estate open for six months.
Another important reason is to have a trusts and estates lawyer when going to through this process is that a personal representative could be personally liable for actions that they take and the damage to the creditors or beneficiaries of an estate. A personal representative has a fiduciary relationship with the estate and with all the people that would benefit from an estate. If that fiduciary duty is ever breached, whether by an intentional act or by negligence, a personal representative exposes themselves to having them recoup any lost money hat out of their own pocket to reimburse the estate. Therefore, it is vital that a representative consults with a knowledgeable attorney who knows what they are doing before taking significant steps concerning the decedent’s property or other administrative issues.
Reach out to a dedicated legal professional to learn more about the benefits of a Lombard probate lawyer. An attorney could walk you through the procedure and help you wrap up the process promptly. Call today and set up a consultation.