Arlington Heights and Chicago Probate Administration Lawyer
Probate should not be a frustrating, stressful or intimidating process. When handled properly, probate can be an efficient, trouble-free means of distributing an estate and protecting assets from creditors. Some Chicagoans attempt to proceed through the probate process without the assistance of an experienced attorney, as a result, probate has developed a reputation for being expensive, time-consuming and burdensome. To make matters worse, many administrators of estates are still mourning the loss of their loved one and the additional duties and stress associated with probate can become overwhelming.
At the Law Offices of Roger W. Stelk, we provide a full range of services to help you efficiently navigate through the intricacies of probate, so that you and your family members can properly grieve the loss of your loved one. We serve administrators and executors of wills, trusts, and estates to ensure that the process proceeds with minimal difficulty and that no personal liability is left once probate is complete.
Probate Administration Services Provided By the Law Offices of Roger Stelk
To help family members proceed through the probate process without any hiccups, our team provides the following services:
- Identification, valuation, and marshaling of estate assets
- Filing of probate petitions
- Payment of estate taxes and debts
- Resolution of outstanding issues such as title issues and sale of real estate
- Distribution of remaining estate assets in accordance with the will
- Final accounting reconciliations and filing of papers with the court
What to Expect: The Probate Process in Illinois
The probate process in Illinois often entails a multitude of aspects. To ensure that every aspect of probate is handled both effectively and efficiently, it is imperative that executors and administrators possess a thorough understanding of what is expected.
Probate Is Not Always Necessary
The first step is to determine whether or not it will be necessary to probate the estate of the deceased. In Illinois, if your loved one owned less than $100,000 in “probate assets” and no real estate was owned, it is very likely that a small estate affidavit can be filed and probate can be avoided altogether. Probate attorney Roger Stelk will evaluate your case and help you determine whether probating the estate is required.
Opening and Closing a Probate Estate
Once it is determined that the estate must be probated, your loved one’s will must be filed with the county clerk’s office within 30 days from the date that he or she passed. Next, the executor of the will files a petition with the court to open a probate estate. If there is no will, surviving family members will determine who will be the estate administrator. This person will be responsible for filing a petition with the court to open a probate estate. Additionally, he or she will be in charge of paying the bills of the estate and distributing the assets in accordance with Illinois’ law of intestate succession.
After filing the petition to open a probate estate, the administrator or executor will need to file an Affidavit of Heirship. This document serves to identify the heirs of the estate. All heirs must be identified, even if they are not named in the will.
When the estate is opened, the executor or administrator must obtain the Letters of Office. These letters are presented to banks, title companies, and other entities to enable the representative to act on behalf of the estate.
In most cases, a Cook County estate will proceed through the probate process over a period of about 14 months. During this time assets are distributed and any debts associated with the estate must be paid, with receipts being presented to the court upon filing the final report.
Unfortunately, all estates are not probated without complication. When disputes or conflicts arise, litigation is sometimes necessary. Roger Stelk helps clients resolve disputes through mediation and litigation.
Our goal is to achieve an efficient, trouble-free, cost-effective conclusion of the probate process.
Call us at (847) 506-7330 or send an e-mail to arrange for a free consultation