Has a loved one passed away leaving assets or property? We can guide you through the process of collecting and distributing their assets. Our probate lawyers make the process as simple and stress-free as possible during this difficult emotional time. We know probate law and we make it simple for you.
What is the Probate process?
When someone passes away circumstances may require the Court be involved in the collection and distribution of the decedent's estate.
A representative of the Estate is appointed through the Court in the County where the decedent resided. Typically the appointed representative is a family member. A representative can also be appointed in a person's Will. The representative gets a legal document, called “letters of office,” which are then used to access the decedent's assets and property.
During the administration process, the probate attorney assists the representative in making an inventory, collecting the assets, and assessing the debts of the Estate, if any. We publish for creditors, give proper notice to heirs and creditors, and after administration is completed, guide the representative in distributing the estate.
Small Estate Administration:
In certain circumstances in Illinois, Estates under $100,000.00 can be administered without going to Court. If your loved one had a smaller estate, it may be possible to access their assets using a Small Estate Affidavit, rather than probate. This process is less expensive and faster than formal probate through the Court. Contact our office today and speak to a probate lawyer to find out which Estate procedure is appropriate for your family's situation.
Did a loved one set up a trust before he or she passed away? Is an elderly relative no longer able to manage his or her own trust? We represent trustees and guide them through proper trust administration. This process usually involves giving proper notice to trust beneficiaries, taking an inventory of trust assets and determining whether there are other assets that need to be transferred to the trust, assessing any outstanding debts and whether they need to be paid by the trust, and determining how and when proper distribution should be made. We strive to make the trust administration process as simple and straightforward as possible.
In some cases, trust administration can involve conflict and litigation. The attorneys at WhiteheadFink Elder Law, LLC are experienced at resolving trust disputes, both in and out of the courtroom. We realize that family situations are often complex and fraught with difficult emotion. We guide our clients through these cases with empathy and understanding, while fighting hard for their best interests.