Probate And Trust Administration
Experienced Guidance Through Illinois Probate And Trust Administration
Our probate attorneys assist executors and administrators of wills and estates to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the executor or administrator has no remaining personal liability after the process is completed. The probate attorneys at John J. Pembroke & Associates LLC also assist with filing estate and final income taxes.
In Illinois, an executor or administrator of an estate has multiple duties, including
- Completing an inventory of assets
- Acquiring proper valuation of all assets
- Completing a final accounting
- Distributing assets to heirs in accordance with the controlling documents
If there is no will or trust, the assets are distributed under Illinois law of intestate succession.
Understanding The Probate Process
Probate takes a minimum of eight months and can last much longer for substantial estates, particularly if the will is contested. Many people view probate as a necessary evil. However, it can be a benefit and a comfort. A high percentage of our clients elect to have at least some of their assets go through the probate process because it provides a court-supervised forum to resolve family disputes. Probate also allows estates to cut off potential creditor claims sooner than in an estate controlled by a trust.
Estate administration includes assets that need to go through the probate process (those assets controlled by a will) as well as non-probate assets such as trusts, life insurance benefits and property owned in joint tenancy. While probate is a public process, the administration of non-probate assets can be done privately at the same time.
If the estate contains assets that are difficult to value, such as businesses or real estate, our lawyers will advise you to retain enough assets to pay any additional taxes if the value is challenged by the IRS. Since the executor or administrator is personally liable for estate taxes, you will want to retain enough money from the estate to pay any additional taxes that are owed.