A personal representative or an executor is an individual named in a will to administer the decedent’s probate estate. There might be one or more if a co-executor was appointed. Sometimes, personal representatives could be listed in the order of priorities. A will might explicitly state who is to take a role of executor and carry with it provisions as to what could happen if the first appointee steps down from the role.
To be eligible to be a personal representative of an estate, someone must be 18 years of age and a resident of the United States. In Illinois, there is a requirement that they are of sound mind. Additionally, a personal representative in Lombard probate must be someone who has not been adjudged to a disabled person and who has not been convicted of a felony.
In Lombard, the order of priority is a system of priority as to who could be appointed or nominated administer of the estate if there is no will. Generally, priority is given to the surviving spouse, children of the decedent, grandchildren, parents of the decedent, siblings, and the nearest kin of the decedent. It is important to note that these people could serve in this priority or nominate in this priority. For example, if a surviving spouse appoints someone to serve as an administrator, whether it is a bank or another individual, that person would have priority over an actual child of the decedent. If a spouse wanted to name a brother, some of the decedents would still have a second priority behind that brother. The critical factor is that it was the spouse doing the nominating.
Most commonly in estates without wills and those without surviving spouses, the adult children of the decedent decide among themselves who is going to act as administrator of the estate. There are also a few different provisions, such as a creditor administering an estate or nominating somebody to administer an estate. However, those types of people are almost always going to be behind family members in terms of priority.
A good time for an executor to hire a probate lawyer is, at the very least, within a few weeks of the decedent’s death. In cases in which there is a probate estate, not much could be done until someone has been appointed as an executor. Even though a will may name someone as executor, they are not able to take too many actions until they are selected and they receive a letter of office from the court.
There are many reasons to get that process started as soon as possible. Generally, the first step in doing so is hiring a probate lawyer, since the probate lawyer files that petition and goes in the court to open the estate.
If you have recently received notice or have taken an active role as an executor of an estate, you may wish to contact an attorney who could explain the role of personal representatives in Lombard probate. Regardless of whether or not you want to continue as an executor, an attorney could help you through the processes and assist with the necessary paperwork. Call today and set up a consultation with a team of experienced legal professionals.