Elgin Probate Lawyer

Elgin Probate Lawyer

Elgin Probate Lawyer – Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – Free Consultation at 847-628-8311 – 2155 Point Boulevard, Suite 220 in Elgin

Probate is a type of court case. Generally it’s when the court supervises an executor or administrator while they distribute the assets of a deceased person. The person’s estate may distribute assets to beneficiaries or to creditors. A will usually names who shall oversee their estate. When there is no will, the legal system refers to this person as an administrator. The goal of the probate process is to clarify who receives specific assets and to ensure payment of debts.

In the state of Illinois, probate isn’t necessary in every case. It is generally needed if the deceased individual:

-Had assets external to a payable on death account totaling more than $100,000.

-Owns real estate that isn’t jointly held with another party who holds right of survivorship.

When neither of these apply, then the decreased person’s estate may proceed with distribution with no need for probate.

Basics of Probate – Elgin Probate Lawyer

The probate process should start shortly after a person’s death either by a relative or by the executor. This is done by filing a petition and relevant paperwork in an appropriate circuit court. The goal of the process is to transfer any existing titles into the name of the will’s beneficiary. If there is not a will, state law applies.

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Another goal of probate is preventing fraud and to inform creditors and possible heirs of the individual’s death. This process is necessary regardless if the deceased did or did not have a will. If there is a will, probate serves to validate it. When there’s not a will, probate is useful for determining the heirs. A revocable living trust is an estate planning device comparable to a will and renders the probate process unnecessary.

Based upon an estate’s complexities, probate can finish easily or it might take some time. In some cases an heir or a creditor disagrees with distribution of the assets. Or, they may believe that the will was signed under improper circumstances. If so, it can result in litigation that prolongs the probate process. In the state of Illinois, the cost of probate comes from court, legal, administrator and other fees.

Some Alternatives to the Probate Process in the State of Illinois

Illinois applies the Small Estate Affidavit to properties that aren’t subject to the probate process. It is simply a form in which the estate’s administrator testifies that probate isn’t necessary. When the administrator fills out the affidavit form, he or she presents it to financial institutions to disperse an estate valued at less than $100,000 without entering probate.

Smaller estates may disperse through the affidavit and don’t require a lawyer typically. But there are valid reasons why a will’s executor would benefit from the services of an Elgin Probate Lawyer.

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The rules of probate can be tough to understand. Even small estates are often subject to rules similar to standard probate procedures. Additionally, an executor is responsible for any errors made in distribution of the property or in payment of debts. An executor may be sued if errors occur during the distribution process or if a beneficiary receives an incorrect distribution. To prevent that and to ensure the will’s executor understands their role, an Elgin Probate Lawyer can be very helpful even for smaller estates.

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An executor is not required to hire a lawyer for cases involving probate. But regardless of an estate’s size, an executor and the estate might still benefit from experienced legal representation. An Elgin Probate Lawyer may assist in securing a surety bond. These serve to protect the heirs against errors that might occur during distribution of property. Obtaining a surety bond can get harder without an Elgin Probate Lawyer. This is because errors tend to be more likely and the bond companies may as a result charge a higher fee. Still, the executor is liable if errors occur. Because of the complexity and time a probate procedure may require, errors may happen. To prevent being the subject of a lawsuit and to have a legal professional manage heirs and the probate process, an Elgin Probate Lawyer can offer valuable help.

Probate Deadlines

There are multiple relevant deadlines that beneficiaries and executors ought to be aware of to help preserve their legal rights.

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In Illinois, probate is a legal procedure supervised by the court that serves to certify a deceased person’s estate is valued at over a particular amount. The system provides interested people an opportunity to express their concerns, distribute assets and to pay off taxes and debts. The executor of the will oversees the probate process. He or she is responsible for validating the deceased’s will. In addition, they identify and appraise assets, pay taxes and debts and distribute property as the will instructs.

Probate can take around one year. However, if surviving relatives or other parties contest the terms of the will, it may take longer. It’s very helpful to meet with an Elgin Probate Lawyer. After doing so, it’s important to identify property that should be preserved, requires care or may be perishable. This could include agricultural products like livestock and crops or valuable collections such as wine or works of art.

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-In the event the executor refuses to act in that capacity, that person has 30 days in which to advise the court of their decision.

-When the decedent did have a will, it must file with the court in the county where the person was living within 30 days of their death. In some instances, the will is found after the 30 day deadline passes, but concealing a will is illegal. If you miss the deadline for filing a will for a loved one, speak to your Elgin Probate Lawyer and then file the will as soon as you can. The court might deny the right to act as the will’s executor, however, unless you can show a good cause.

-The deadline for demanding proof of a will is 42 days after filing. An interested party may demand formal proof of a will. He or she has to file a petition to do so within 42 days of when the court admits the will to probate. After that, the court schedules a hearing to show the will’s validity. When the hearing finishes, the court confirms the will is admitted to probate as long as there’s no proof of forgery, fraud or improper actions. If a will is found to be invalid, the order that admits the will into probate is vacated.

When it comes to finding a Kane County probate lawyer, call the Scifo Law Firm.  Talk with your Elgin Probate Lawyer to learn more about probate deadlines in Illinois at 847-628-8311.

The Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo serves clients in Kane, Kendall, Lake, DeKalb and Cook Counties.