Decedent’s Estate

At Ruben M. Garcia & Associates, we understand that after the loss of a loved one, the probate process can be a difficult due to the nature of the circumstances surrounding it.

Yet, probate is generally not as terrible as process s some describe it to be. Some individuals who concentrate on selling living trusts use fear as a sales tactic and exaggerate the possible problems involved in a probate proceeding. Probate is simply the process in which the probate court, with the help of a representative (an “executor” in cases where there is a will or an “administrator” when there is no will), determines which heirs, creditors, and/or legatees receive the property of the decedent according to the will of the decedent or Illinois’ laws of intestate succession. It is extremely rare, that assets “escheat” to the State of Illinois.

The decedent may or may not have left a will. If the decedent left a will, Illinois Law requires the original will be filed with the Clerk of Court of the county where the decedent last resided. If there is no will, the estate will be handled by the court according to Illinois’ law of “intestate succession,” which governs the distribution of the decedent’s property.

Whether or not the decedent left a will, a representative must be appointed by the court. The responsibilities of the representative include collecting and preserving the estate’s assets, paying any decedent debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets as directed by the last will of the decedent or intestate succession if there is no will. Additionally, the representative must keep track of and maintain records of all transactions involving the estate as an accounting and inventory must be prepared and submitted to the heirs of the decedent or the court, depending on the form of administration.

After all claims are paid and the inventory and accounting are completed and approved, the personal representative can distribute the assets of the estate according to decedent’s last will or the law of succession, if no will, obtain receipts from estate recipients, and close the probate estate.

The entire probate process can take several months or many years, depending on the size and complexity of the estate.

A knowledgeable, experienced probate attorney can answer your questions and guide you through the probate process in the most expeditious manner possible. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one who left assets that you believe may require probate administration call Ruben M. Garcia & Associates at (847) 728-0808.