What Beneficiaries Going Through Probate Should Know

  • Illinois Probate Law
what beneficiaries going through probate should know | estate and probate legal group

Being named a beneficiary in a will can bring up emotions and questions. But you are not alone. Many people do not understand the entire probate process. You may have questions regarding the executor’s responsibilities and how long it will take to receive your assets. In this article, we will tell you some of what beneficiaries going through probate should know.

What Is The Probate Process?

When a will goes through probate, it means it’s the process of the courts reviewing and validating the will before distributing the assets. But not all estates must go through the courts and the probate process. For instance, if an estate has assets totaling less than $100,000 and that has no real estate, the courts may not need to be involved.

Most wills name an executor. This is someone who will close the estate and oversee the distribution of assets. Closing the estate includes paying all debts and closing the accounts, filing and paying final taxes and notifying all beneficiaries of their inheritance.

What You Should Know As A Beneficiary Going Through Probate In Illinois

You may have several questions if you have never been through the probate process. Some questions our clients have asked are:

  • How long does the executor have to pay the inheritance?
    • Settling an estate can take longer than many people realize. Probate can take 6-12 months before the beneficiaries receive their inheritance. And if there are disputes, this time can be longer.
  • Does an executor have to show accounting to the beneficiaries in Illinois?
    • In general, yes, an executor should be able to show the accounting records to the beneficiaries. An executor needs to be organized and be able to account for the beneficiary’s money.
  • What rights do beneficiaries have in Illinois?
    • If the person died without a will (died intestate), you may be entitled to some of their assets. As a family member, Illinois recognizes specific legal beneficiaries. Beneficiaries have other rights, such as viewing financial records and asking the executor where they are in the probate process.

If the executor is working with a probate attorney, as a beneficiary, you may also be able to speak with the attorney.

The Role Of A Probate Attorney

In Illinois the law holds that only an attorney can represent the estate of a deceased person. The probate attorney can help the executor with the legal process of probate. The attorney helps them prepare the legal documents to close the estate, answer any questions during the process and help settle any disputes that may arise. Anytime you are dealing with the courts and a legal process, it is wise to have an experienced probate attorney on your side.

Oak Brook Probate Attorney

If you are a beneficiary of a will wondering about the probate process, we can help. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago or Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

Areas we serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.