Probate in Illinois
If you are currently dealing with or about to deal with, the Illinois state court system with respect to a probate or estate issue; the following information should be helpful to you. Probate law governs estate matters when someone who, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away. These laws insure that creditors are paid properly and that assets are distributed correctly to the “heirs,” or the descendant(s) of the estate. What is the purpose of Probate? Probate is the legal process that deals with estate assets and property, with regard to heirs and creditors. Probate begins with a “petition” to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased’s property. The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed. Illinois Probate Law As with probate in every state, probate in the state of Illinois requires that one be familiar with the Illinois probate process; that the people managing your estate and inheritance matters are well aware of exactly how probate should be conducted, timelines associated with filing probate petitions, critical probate documents, and so on. As far as wills are concerned in Illinois every will needs to be executed in writing, signed by the testator or person the testator elects to do so. Additionally, there has to be two or more witnesses if the will is to be considered “valid”. Issues surrounding awards for the spouse and child of a decedent are extremely important during probate in Illinois. Probate courts in the state of Illinois determine exactly how estates and assets are distributed during probate, as stipulated by the will and/or wishes of the deceased. Documentation and formal letters associated with the “administration” of an estate in probate in Illinois must be accurate and must be executed in a manner deemed appropriate by the probate courts of Illinois. For example, estates in probate in Illinois must understand the importance of each detail involved with “attestation” of the Will. Obviously, the advice and counsel of the attorney handling your probate will be critical from the beginning to the end of the probate process. Folks dealing with probate in Illinois also need to understand the importance of the fact that the children and spouse the decedent receive “awards” in such a fashion as the Illinois probate court deems appropriate, for 9 months after the passing of the decedent. Sometimes these awards are viewed as a financial allowance to help Illinois families, until the estate has gone fully through probate and the inheritance funds have been distributed. If there is no spouse involved, the assets of the estate are distributed to the decedent’s children, utilizing a list of priorities that involved laws governing half-blood relations, children born out of wedlock, and so forth. Petitioners are given thirty days to mail a copy of their petition to each person named in the estate. The petition also needs to mention when and where the hearing is to take place. Other documents to be concerned with during probate in Illinois include waivers, notices, and revocations of letters of administration and issuances of new letters of administration. All legal documents during probate need to be written in compliance with the standards of the Illinois probate court. Illinois Probate Resources Illinois has no separate probate court.
The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over civil cases & juvenile cases.
Circuit Court of Illinois Inheritance Taxes: 35 ILCS 405
Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act