Probate & Estate Administration
Probate is the process of transferring a deceased person's estate to the beneficiaries who are entitled to receive it, according to a will (or Illinois' Probate Statutes if there was no will). While the basic concept of probate is simple, it can be a complicated and time-consuming process.
At the law firm of William Berry & Associates, LLC, our lawyers have extensive experience guiding executors and personal administrators through the Illinois probate process. We also supervise probate proceedings on the behalf of beneficiaries.
Is Probate Necessary?
Probate is not necessary in all cases. Some assets can be transferred to beneficiaries without the supervision or involvement of the Illinois probate courts, including:
- Investment accounts such as 401(k) accounts and stock trading accounts, which can be transferred by beneficiary designation.
- Life insurance benefits, which can be transferred by beneficiary designation.
- Real estate held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship or a transfer-on-death deed, which can be transferred directly to the joint tenant or the beneficiary named in the TOD.
- Assets held in trust, which can be transferred directly to beneficiaries.
Probate may be required if you have other assets valued at $100,000 or more in personal property and/or real estate. Our lawyers will assist you in determining which assets, if any, need to go through probate.
We will also guide you through the probate process, which typically includes:
- Submitting a will to the probate court for approval
- Publishing a notice to creditors so they may file valid claims against the estate
- Inventorying and valuing assets
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distributing the assets to those who are entitled to receive them
If you are acting as an executor or administrator, you may be held personally liable for mistakes in the probate process. That is why it is crucial to have the backing of an experienced law firm to guide you through the process. Clients of William Berry & Associates, LLC, have the peace of mind that comes from the personal care and attention our lawyers provide our clients.
Our lawyers also provide services in trust administration and representation of successor trustees.
Call to schedule a free consultation – 1-618-344-0034