After the death of a loved one, a probate court will oversee the administration of the estate of the deceased. The probate administration process can take some time, depending on whether there is anyone contesting the will or on the complexity of the estate assets and debts. It is an emotional time for those who have lost someone and it is legally complex and detail specific. Our dedicated probate and estate administration attorneys at M&A Law Firm, P.C. are here to walk you and your family through the entire process so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
What Happens During Probate and Estate Administration?
Many things happen during the probate administration process. First and foremost, the probate court authenticates the will and determines whether it is valid. A valid will is an excellent start to the probate administration process. When someone contests the will or the validity of the will is questioned, things get complicated quickly. Additionally, difficulties with the probate process arise when:
- No will was in place at the time of the decedent’s death;
- There was a will in place, but it was incomplete; or
- There was a will in place, but it was outdated.
After the probate court has accepted the will as valid, the next step is the appointment of the executor, usually one that is named in the will itself. Once the executor of the estate is appointed, they start fulfilling a rather lengthy list of things to do, including:
- Marshalling the assets of the estate
- Notifying creditors of the estate
- Applying for a tax ID number
- Filing the last tax return for the deceased
- File the estate tax return
- Pay the costs of administering the estate
- Prepare a final accounting of the estate
- Distribute estate property to the respective heirs
Although this process can be rather lengthy, it will generally proceed without any bumps in the road if the executor fulfills all of their duties properly. If you are in the process of drafting your estate documents, make sure to take special care when appointing who will be the executor of your estate. It is an important, and detail intensive job which can have a big impact on how the probate administration process goes on.
Helping You and Your Loved Ones Throughout the Estate Planning and Probate Administration Process.
The probate administration process can be highly technical and filled with seemingly unnavigable legal hurdles. M&A Law Firm, P.C. is here to guide you and your loved ones through the entire process. While probate administration can seem to drag on, it need not be a stressful time. M&A Law will be there to take on those legal hurdles you face so that the process can move forward as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about the probate administration process, or need help establishing your own estate plan, contact M&A Law Firm today. M&A Law Firm, P.C. proudly serves Cook County and Skokie, Illinois.