Probate And Estate Administration

Probate is the process of proving the validity of a deceased person's will and administering the will according to the decedent's wishes. The person who is designated to administer the will — the executor — collects the decedent's assets in order to pay creditors and taxes, and then transfers the remaining assets to beneficiaries. In Illinois, probate is handled in the circuit court in the county in which the deceased lived at the time of death.

Some Assets Can Bypass Probate

There are a number of assets that can pass directly to beneficiaries without going through probate. These include:

  • Assets that identify a beneficiary such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities
  • Assets that are owed in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship such as real estate or bank accounts
  • Assets whose title transfers on death such as pay on death bank accounts
  • Assets that are held in a trust such as a revocable living trust or a special needs trust

Any decedent who owns more than $100,000 in assets in his name at the time of death will require probate. The estate planning attorneys at Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe, LLP in Lake Forest assist executors with not only with probate, but all phases of estate administration.

Why Hiring An Estate Administration Attorney Is A Wise Decision

If you were named the executor of someone's estate, it is most likely because that person held you in high esteem and trusted your judgment. For most estates, however, it is wise to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate the probate process.

There are a number of steps that must be completed while administering an estate, all in a timely fashion. One misstep can derail the entire process and open the door to legal challenges from beneficiaries or even someone who has been left out of a will. Our estate administration lawyers have assisted clients with probate in Lake County and beyond for two decades. We will handle court filings, asset inventory and notification of benefactors, and will respond to any legal challenges on your behalf.

If you have been named executor of a will, or if your loved one did not leave a Will, we can steer you through the probate process and protect the interests of everyone involved, especially yours. Call 847-295-8800 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting.