Probate Lawyer in Schaumburg IL
It can be uncomfortable to think about your wishes for your family, your property, and other details after you die, but unless you want decisions made for you by an unknown third party, it’s crucial.
Life can be unpredictable, and it’s best to have all your important details legally documented before it becomes necessary. Part of this includes planning your estate by creating a will, trust, power of attorney, and other documents. Understanding the probate process will also help you plan in advance.
Probate is the process of ensuring the execution of your wishes through court proceedings following your death. It will verify the validity of your will, take an inventory of your assets and belongings, have the property appraised, pay any debts or taxes, and distribute your remaining assets and property as you directed.
The Probate Process
The first step is naming a person you trust as your executor. This person will be listed in your will. If you should happen to die without a will, the judge at probate court will select the executor (one of the many reasons why having a will is so important).
After your relatives and creditors have been officially notified of your death, your executor will be in charge of finding, securing, and managing your assets. This is the probate process, and it can take anywhere from months to a year (or more). Important decisions will have to be made, such as whether or not to sell any real estate or securities included in your estate. This may require appraisals to determine the value of your assets. If you have outstanding debts, property may be sold to raise cash to pay those debts.
If your family has need, the court can be petitioned to release support funds in the short-term during the probate process. Once the process has concluded, the executor of your estate will be allowed to pay the debts and taxes and divide the rest of the estate as directed by your will.
Hiring an Attorney for Probate
In many cases, a member of the family is selected as the executor of the estate. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to challenges. Tensions may run high among families while dealing with the ins and outs of probate. One person may resent that someone else was chosen as executor or may feel that they were not fairly represented in the will. This can lead to lawsuits, which can drain the estate and tear apart a family. Hiring a neutral party – such as an attorney – to manage the estate can avoid a situation like this.
If your estate is complex and includes items beyond typical household goods, an attorney can keep track of these details and make sure that everything is happening on schedule and correctly. You should consider hiring an attorney if your estate includes a business, commercial real estate, or any other item that requires ongoing management.
Being the executor of an estate can be hard work and requires excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. Bringing in an attorney will help make sure that everything is done correctly and professionally and will avoid placing a burden or extra stress on family members who are already grieving.
Call for Your Consultation
If you have questions about the probate process or you’re considering naming an attorney executor of your estate, call Schaumburg, IL attorney Robert M. Kaplan, PC, today to get more information. He can lay out your options so you can decide what’s best for you and your loved ones.