There are two different roles that a person who is responsible for settling an estate may find themselves in: either as an executor or as an administrator.
An executor is a person named in the will to handle the estate. An administrator is a person who steps in when there is no will in place. Both parties are designated to oversee the estate, and both parties have the same responsibilities to find and collect the assets.
There needs to be a bond for the administrator to secure his fidelity and performance. In contrast, most wills waive a surety bond. Still, the executor often files a personal bond instead of getting an insurance company involved in a surety bond.
How Long The Probate Process Generally Takes
The length of the probate process depends on many factors. For example, if the person passed away less than two years ago, you’ll need to file and publish for creditors – a process which takes six months. On the other hand, if the person died more than two years ago, you won’t have to go through that six-month creditor claim period.
From the filing date, it can take three to eight weeks to get into court to open the estate. Then, if no unforeseen issues arise, you can resolve a probate estate in a matter of months.
Some Of The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Probating An Estate
The biggest mistake people make when probating an estate is they try to do it without an attorney. The judge will only allow someone to probate an estate pro se (without an attorney) if there aren’t other heirs.
Probate is one of the few cases you can’t do on a pro se basis, and certainly if you’re the executor. Why? Because now you have a fiduciary duty to people, so you’ll need an attorney.
Another mistake people make is trying to transfer assets before opening the probate estate. People also make a mistake when attempting to transfer assets or take money that is in an unequal share without allowing the transparency involved in opening a probate estate.
You Need To Hire An Attorney For Probate
You need to contact an attorney when there’s a death, assets are to be collected and distributed, and expenses are to be paid. What’s more, the earlier an attorney is involved, the sooner you can resolve the estate.
Before getting started, your attorney will need the following information to handle your probate case:
- A copy of the death certificate
- A list of names of heirs and their contact information
- A list of liabilities (to the extent they’re known)
- The list of assets, including real estate and bank accounts
An attorney prepares all the legal documentation and consults with the administrator or executor. So, an attorney is like the quarterback for the probate estate; he gives the legal advice and handles the transfer of assets, the sale of real estate, and the estate’s closing.
The Estate Closing Process In Illinois: The End Of Probate
To close an estate, the creditor claims period must be over. You must do the inventory and accounting (if it’s supervised administration), collect the assets, do a final account, and get all the entitled heirs’ waivers, consents, and receipts. Then, you must distribute the assets.
Finally, you’ll have the administrator sign a final report indicating that there are no claims, all the bills have been paid, and everyone agrees on the assets’ distribution. Only then will the judge sign a closing order and release the administrator or the executor from their duties.
For more information on the Role Of An Executor In An Illinois Probate Process, a free initial consultation is your next step. Then, get the information and legal answers you seek today by calling (312) 900-9818.