St. Charles Probate Lawyer
St. Charles Probate Lawyer – Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – Free Consultation: 847-628-8311
Probate is a legal process in which the estate of a deceased person distributes to their heirs and/or beneficiaries and pays remaining debts. Generally, probate property distributes in accordance to the deceased person’s final will and testament. If they did not have a will, distribution occurs according to Illinois law.
Probate typically involves the following steps:
-The estate names an individual to serve as administrator. If there’s a will, it names the administrator and refers to that person as the executor. If there’s no will or the will doesn’t name an executor, the probate court appoints someone.
-The will is shown to be valid in court. Because state law governs the probate process, it is essential to follow the state’s requirements regarding witnesses, signatures and notaries.
-The property of the deceased person is then sorted and identified. Probate must finish before assets can be sold or distributed.
-An appraisal of the property is performed.
-The estate pays remaining taxes and debts.
-The estate then distributes remaining assets in accordance with the will’s person’s instructions. In the event there is no will, the executor distributes assets according to Illinois state law.
St. Charles Probate Lawyer – When a Deceased Person Does Not Have a Will and Testament
In the absence of a will, or if an estate does not name a beneficiary, the probate process serves to distribute remaining assets. The process also permits challenges to the will. In that case the court determines the beneficiaries.
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Probate: How Long Does it Take?
While each case is unique, the probate process typically finishes in approximately six to nine months after a case begins in the courts. Naturally, this can differ based upon the court. Some cases may take longer in the event there’s a dispute over the will’s legal status or distribution of assets. Additionally, there might be court fees relating to the probate process. The obligation to pay those costs may fall to the will’s executor if the estate cannot pay them. This is why many people choose to draft a living trust. It’s a useful document that helps prevent probate and decreases the time it takes to settle the estate.
Properties Not Included in the Probate Process
There are types of assets that don’t enter into probate. Typically these are known as non-probate assets. They may include, for example, a life insurance policy that designates a beneficiary or a bank account that names a beneficiary in a valid contract. Also, real estate that is held jointly with rights of survivorship can supersede probate processes too. It’s possible to make practically all of someone’s assets non-probate if they are in a living trust.
It isn’t necessary to enter the probate procedure in every case. One of the purposes of smart estate planning is to steer clear of probate in order to assure assets distribute appropriately. Speak with your St. Charles Probate Lawyer for advice and helpful guidance on this process and for help with estate planning.
Free Consultation: 847-628-8311
Probate Lawyer FAQs – What Are the Duties of an Executor?
An executor is responsible for overseeing the finances of the deceased person. The executor pays taxes, remaining debts and distributes assets to heirs. Generally, an executor is someone who is a spouse, child, parent or sibling of the deceased. While state law may provide for payment of an executor, many will not seek compensation because they are a family member. Along with handling the responsibilities in an honest and impartial manner, an executor might also perform the following:
-Obtain copies of the will and promptly file it with the appropriate probate court. An executor is responsible for finding and reading the will. Often, even when probate is not necessary, the executor still must file the will a probate court. At this stage, an executor also decides who inherits the assets.
-Inform banks, creditors and government entities of the deceased’s passing. Additionally, the executor informs the Social Security Administration of the death.
-Determine which kind of probate may be necessary. Some inheritance laws might facilitate the distribution of specific assets without probate. Consequently, the process is not necessary in every case. Plus, the value of an estate may permit it to proceed along in an expedited manner. If probate is necessary, you will have to file a petition for the court to name you as the executor. In most cases, this will call for the assistance of your St. Charles Probate Lawyer.
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-An executor might in some cases be go to court as the estate’s representative.
-Establish a bank account to receive incoming funds and for paying ongoing bills. If the deceased person is owed some money – from paychecks coming in as an example – this account can receive them. An executor should also be aware of existing utilities, mortgages and bills that must settle during probate.
-Update the inventory of assets and file it in court. This is another task that can be done with the assistance of your St. Charles Probate Lawyer.
-Ensure the maintenance of property until it sells or distributes to beneficiaries. This would include consistent upkeep of a house until it’s distributed or put up for sale – or even determining whether the property will, in fact, be sold. The executor also must be certain to locate the deceased’s personal property within the estate and assure it’s protection until distribution. For instance, if the deceased person had a safety deposit box, the executor would want to locate it and ensure its safekeeping.
-Payment of the estate’s taxes and outstanding debts. State law spells out the proper procedure for informing creditors. Estates must submit tax returns from the beginning of the current year up until the date of the deceased’s passing. If the estate is substantial enough, there might be state and federal taxes as well.
-Distribution of assets and property. This generally takes place according to the directions in the deceased’s will. In the absence of a will, Illinois intestacy laws are applicable. In the event there is still property remaining after paying debts and distributing assets, the executor is then responsible for disposing it.
Talk to a Probate Lawyer in a Free Consultation: 847-628-8311
Estates can range significantly in terms of their size and assets. Therefore, the executor’s role may be either simple or somewhat of a challenge and the responsibilities might involve more than what we mention here. An executor can choose to decline the task or to resign at any stage in the probate process. However, helpful advice from a legal expert is all it takes to clear up confusion. Consulting with your St. Charles Probate Lawyer is the best way to be sure the process goes smoothly.
Along with our legal services related to probate, our firms serves clients in a number of other practice areas. Contact us for family law issues including divorce, guardianship, separation and child custody cases. In addition, we handle wills, elder guardianship and other matters relating to elder law. The Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo serves clients from St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Elgin and other communities in Kane County.