A Probate Lawyer Schaumburg, IL Trusts Discusses the Probate Process
Bott & Associates, Ltd. is a local law firm with bold ideas and creative legal strategies that get results. Most of our clients come to us because they need assistance in estate planning, trust and will drafting, the probate process, litigation, guardianship, and other issues that may be associated with estate law. As probate lawyers, we are committed to providing clients with effective legal representation while achieving the right results. Rest assured, no matter what your issue might be, we care about you and will relentlessly work to protect your rights. For a consultation with a probate lawyer in Schaumburg, IL, call our firm today.
At Bott & Associates, Ltd., our probate lawyers provide a broad range of elder law services, estate planning, and dispute resolution services. Throughout the administration of a trust or probate process, you can count on the probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL trusts to provide you with efficient, honest counsel.
Whether you are planning your estate or have lost a loved one recently, and are ready to begin the probate process, an experienced probate lawyer from our Schaumburg firm would like to offer you sound guidance and compassionate support.
Understanding the Probate Process
Probate is a court process that takes place after a person has died. During the process, the court and a probate lawyer will determine the validity of a will and oversee the payment of any debts owed and the distribution of physical and financial assets. If there is no will upon the death of the individual, there will still be a probate process.
The state regulates the legislation used during the probate process. Each state is different, which is why, as an executor or administrator of an estate, you should have a probate lawyer on your side. Bott & Associates, Ltd. may assist you in this respect. Guided by years of experience, we have assisted countless clients in and around Schaumburg, IL who were facing probate. Our lawyers are ready to help you too.
Probating an Estate After a Person’s Death
Following a death, a probate lawyer can assist families and beneficiaries with the process of ensuring all the deceased wishes are carried out correctly. Despite every state having its own laws regarding probate, the process generally involves the following:
- Petitioning the court to begin the probate process of a will
- Sending notice to beneficiaries, creditors, and other parties
- Paying off any debts owed including taxes
- Distributing remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms put forth in the will
If there are any disputes regarding the validity of the will or distribution of assets, there will also an effort to resolve these matters as efficiently as possible. Your probate lawyer can discuss this situation in further detail if it applies to your case.
The Process of Trust Administration
Unlike a will, administering a trust is straightforward and does not require the heirs to go through the probate process. This means the court will not be involved, and it will not be made public. Administering a trust typically involves the gathering documents and records and distributing the assets according to the terms. A Schaumburg probate lawyer, who also handles trust administration, can oversee this process.
The Process of Probate
No two probate processes are the same. Sometimes they are fast and uncomplicated while other times probating an estate is rife with obstacles, such as title issues, debt concerns, and dispute. For instance, as a probate lawyer, our firm has probated estates in which a creditor has placed a lien on the deceased’s property because they owed them debt. In other situations, the deceased has owed years of back taxes, and this had to be resolved before the assets could be distributed. Finally, it is possible for family members to disagree with the will, and this can cause significant complications in the probate process.
If any of the above occurs, or you have concerns about the process, you should consult a probate lawyer from Schaumburg, IL. In doing so, financial consequences can be minimized, and court hearings can go as smooth as possible.
Small Estates and the Probate Process
Many states have simplified the probate process when small estates are involved. Certain requirements will need to be met. Generally, this refers to a total net worth of the estate. This process is usually held before an administrator of the court rather than probate court.
If there is no will or the court finds the will to be invalid, the inheritance rules of the state will apply. Typically, in this situation assets are distributed to the surviving spouse and children. This is followed by parents and other relatives.
Probate for Out-Of-Area Clients
Our probate lawyers have helped many clients who live out of the area, including across the country, and are in need of an Illinois-based probate lawyer who can oversee the administration process. If your loved one owned property in the area, and you are not here, you may need the probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL calls first from Bott & Associates, Ltd. to finalize the process.
The probate process does not always go through smoothly. There are many cases where a family member or some other party will contest a will when it has been filed with the probate court. If they are successful, then the court will invalidate the will and decide how the estate should be distributed.
Under Illinois law, a person must have “legal standing” in order to contest a decedent’s will. This means that they must be affected by the current will in a direct and financial way that would be negatively impacted if the court accepts the will that has been filed. In order to contest a will, a petition must be filed within six months of the will being admitted to the probate court. Any petition filed after that six months is over will not be considered by the court.
There must also be legal grounds to contest a will. A person cannot contest it just because they don’t like the way the estate is to be distributed. There must be legal grounds for the court to consider invalidating the decedent’s will. A probate lawyer can evaluate your case and determine what grounds you can contest a will but, in general, the following are acceptable grounds:
- Lack of mental capacity: If the person who wrote the will had difficulty remembering members of their family, understanding what assets and property they owned, or how that party should be distributed once they pass away, an individual with standing may have grounds to contest the will on the grounds that they were not of sound mind when they wrote the will.
- Undue influence: If the decedent was easily manipulated or pressured by an individual to change their will in order to benefit that individual, the court could invalidate the will if they believe there was undue influence put on the decedent.
- Forgery or fraud: A probate lawyer an also contest a will on behalf of a client if there is evidence that the will that has been entered into probate was forged or is otherwise fraudulent. For example, if there is proof the decedent was tricked into signing the will after being told they were signing something else, the court would throw the will out.
If you have reason to believe that your loved one’s will that has been filed in probate is not a valid will, contact a Schaumburg, IL probate lawyer to discuss the circumstance of your case. We can evaluate your concerns and determine if there is grounds to contest your loved one’s will.
Myths About Probate and Wills
As a probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL has to offer, we know that it is common for new clients to have many questions and concerns. In fact, many clients are surprised about how many misconceptions they have about wills and the probate process. Bott & Associates, Ltd. assists families and individuals who wish to leave a legacy for their loved ones and make sure their final wishes can be honored. While we assist our clients in the Schaumburg area, our probate lawyer offers legal guidance, tips, and helpful insight that can provide significant reassurance to client, and prospective clients, who want to know that they are making the correct decisions. We welcome you to contact a probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL provides to learn how we can help you too. The first consult is free so call us today to take advantage of this opportunity.
Below are several myths about the probate process and wills that may have caused you some confusion in the past.
1.Myth: If someone dies without having left a will, the State of Illinois will take ownership of all their possessions.
Reality: As a probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL respects might tell you, a will is an important estate planning tool. For instance, by creating a will and a trust, your estate will likely avoid the probate process after your passing. It can also create a clear path for your loved ones to follow and reduce their confusion and stress while they are already suffering from tremendous grief. However, if you pass away without a will (otherwise referred to as dying intestate), then the laws of Illinois will intercede. What this means is that your assets would be distributed to your loved ones following a predetermined order of priority.
- Your spouse and minor-aged children will be at the top of the priority list to inherit your assets.
- If you do not have a spouse or minor-aged children, your siblings or parents might inherit your assets.
- If you do not have a surviving spouse, minor-aged children, siblings, or parents, the Probate Court Judge may rule that another relative (however distant) should inherit your assets.
- If you do not have any surviving relatives of any kind, then the State of Illinois may take ownership of your assets, but this is very rare.
If you have questions about the line of succession, please consult a probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL families rely on for personalized legal advice.
2. Myth: As the oldest child of my deceased parent, I will automatically become the executor of their estate if they did not leave a will.
Reality: Should an individual dies intestate, the Probate Court Judge is expected to consider all of the details and circumstances when considering who to appoint as the executor. They are expected to rule based on the best interests of the estate. Though you may be the oldest of the surviving children, there is no guarantee that the Judge will make you the executor. There may be factors that cause them to appoint another person instead. For instance, you may live out of state and are not as accessible as another sibling who lives in the same town where most of the deceased parent’s assets are located. There are many considerations which could sway the Judge’s opinion when choosing who should be the estate’s executor. In some scenarios, it is preferred to have more than one executor, and thus there may be co-executors that the Judge names.
If you would like to discuss your estate planning concerns with a seasoned probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL community members turn to for legal advice, call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Speak with a Probate Lawyer Now
If you need assistance in the probate process or another estate matter, contact Bott & Associates, Ltd. to schedule a consultation with a probate lawyer Schaumburg, IL families know and trust. We understand that this process can be confusing, and it’s our goal to simplify the process. Call us today to arrange a consultation with a probate lawyer who has your best interests in mind.