When do I have to open a probate case in Illinois?

When do I have to open a probate case in Illinois?

If a loved one has passed on and you are the executor of their estate you need to be sure if you have to open a probate case. Depending on the deceased person’s assets you might not have to open a probate case, which will save the estate time and money.   Obviously every estate is different, and I would recommend talking to a probate attorney (this does not constitute legal advice) if you have any questions about the process. Before taking that step, here are a few guidelines for estates that do not require a probate case be opened: The estate contains no real estate, The estate has no claims or debts, and The estate has less than $100,000.00   Remember, if you do meet these requirements you might not have to open a probate case in Illinois. However, I would talk to a local probate attorney who could evaluate your exact situation and give you advice. I personally have opened and closed many estates in Kane and Cook counties, and I would be delighted to provide you quality legal service for your...
How do I find a trust that was left for me?

How do I find a trust that was left for me?

Trusts are private documents.  They are not filed anywhere and nothing is reported to any court of law when the trust is signed or when the grantor of the trust passes away.  Your only option for finding out if you are named as a beneficiary in a trust is to determine who was nominated the successor trustee in the trust, contact that person and request a copy of the trust. If you are named a beneficiary of the trust you are entitled to a copy. However, keep in mind if you are not named in the trust the trustee does not have to give you a...
Welcome

Welcome

Welcome to the Lauren Jackson Law blog that strives to keep readers connected to current issues regarding real estate, estate planning, and probate issues. Laws are changing every year regarding these issues and it is imperative that we stay informed because it can save you and your family time and money.   Over the last ten years I have had the opportunity to work for and with numerous attorneys and law firms. After witnessing first hand what is happening in the legal world regarding customer service, I have realized that clients deserve better service and resources. I want my clients to be well informed throughout their legal process so they have a better understanding of what exactly is happening in their particular transaction.   I will continue to write this blog with the most commonly asked questions I witness in my daily activities. I hope to provide very useful content that will help clients answer their legal questions.   I do encourage any questions or comments from any blog post that I have written. You can comment at the bottom of the page or please reach out to me personally at lauren@laurenjacksonlaw.com or 847.714.2866.  ...

What is the first step of the probate process?

If you find out you are the lucky individual who has been named the executor of an estate, do you know the very first thing you should do once the testator has passed away? Answer: file the testator’s will and death certificate with the clerk of the court in the county where the testator resided when they passed away. Once the will has been filed, if it is determined you need to get the ball rolling in the probate process, you must complete and file a request to the court called a petition for probate. This petition must be filed with the court clerk in the county where the testator resided at the time of his death. Executors may attempt to complete the probate process on their own but you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by hiring an attorney to do it for you. Also, there are definitely legal responsibilities imposed upon an executor of an estate. For example, if you know there is a legal and valid will and you do not file it with the clerk of the court you can be held responsible (which is a class 3...
What is Probate?

What is Probate?

When a person dies their estate (or assets) must go through a process known as probate, which is overseen by a probate court. Once the appropriate paperwork has been filed to open the estate, the probate judge confirms whether the will is valid. Then a representative of the estate known as the executor must go into probate court to validate the will and formally confirm the appointment of executor. Once this has been accomplished, the probate court will issue letters of office to the executor, enabling him or her to communicate with the deceased party’s lending institutions and creditors. At this point, the executor must collect assets, liquidate real property, and pay all required bills.   The entire process can take anywhere from six months to over two years. The estate of a person who dies without a will must also be filed with a probate court in order to distribute that person’s property, although the property will be distributed according to the Illinois laws of descent and distribution rather than how the decedent may have intended. Some people might try to tackle this process alone, however, it is not an easy process and often times I am contacted once someone has attempted to handle it on their own and realize they are in over their head.   I have been handling probate cases for over ten years in Kane County. If you want to make the process easier on yourself, the sooner we can work together the smother the process will...