Estate Administration is the process by which a person’s assets are distributed legally and properly after the person’s death. The estate administration process can range between being reasonably simple (e.g., Small Estate Affidavit) to a more complicated process (e.g., Probate). If the deceased person has a will or trust, then his/her assets are distributed as the will/trust directs. If the deceased person does not have a will or a trust, then state laws (called intestacy laws) address how administration matters, we proudly take on the responsibility of walking personal representatives through the entire probate and estate administration process. The full probate process includes:
Probate is the judicial process by which a deceased person’s assets are legally passed to his/her beneficiaries in an orderly manner. During the probate process, executors or administrators are appointed by the Court, notices are mailed to the heirs and published in the newspaper, inventories and accountings are filed, and ultimately, the deceased person’s assets less legitimate expenses are distributed to his/her beneficiaries. The probate process is expensive and timely. Even the most straightforward probate estates take approximately one year to be completed. If you can plan to avoid probate (see the Estate Planning section), you should.
Probate is a critical process to ensure that the deceased’s loved ones legally obtain ownership of the decedent’s assets. For any questions regarding your probate litigation process, call us today for a free estimate!
In some circumstances, the formal probate process is not needed. In general, under Illinois law, if the decedent (person who passed away) owned no real estate in his/her sole name and did not have other assets over $100,000 in his/her sole name (and without a named beneficiary), probate is not required. In such instances, a Small Estate Affidavit will suffice. Call Norsigian Law Office to determine whether a Small Estate Affidavit is needed to help you navigate through this process.