Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
SCHAUMBURG FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

A Quick and Easy Breakdown of the Probate Process

When a loved one passes away, people not only have to deal with their grief, but there are legal matters that need to be attended to. Some people have heard of the word “probate,” but many people have no idea what it means or how it involves them.

The best thing to do when dealing with someone’s death in Schaumburg, IL is to contact a probate lawyer. An attorney can guide you and answer all of your legal questions. Meanwhile, let’s go over the general steps you can expect to deal with in the probate process.

The Definition of Probate

When a person dies, their assets, debts, and taxes must be taken care of, and all or part of that might fall to the courts. After that, there is the matter of distributing what is left to family members, who are the most likely to inherit. There is usually little court supervision—unless there is a fight among family members or creditors.

The Beginning of Probate

You will have to ask the probate court to be named the executor and/or administrator of the estate by presenting the death certificate. You will do this through the court in the county where the person resided at the time of death.

The First Hearing of Probate

The court will schedule a hearing in case anyone has an objection to your being named an executor and/or administrator. This is usually just a formality, and if your request is approved, the court will issue documents that enable you to act on behalf of the estate.

Proving that a Will Is Valid

You will need statements from the witnesses who signed the will to prove its validity.

If there is no Will.

You will ask the court to appoint you the administrator of the estate.

Managing the Estate

While the probate case is open—usually for a period of several months—you can open a bank account in the name of the estate and pay creditors, as needed.

You may need to have assets appraised and a list of property given to the court.

Distributing the Property

After creditors have been paid and taxes have been filed, you should be able to distribute the property according to the will’s instructions.

If you have questions about probate, talk to Schaumburg, IL lawyer Robert M. Kaplan. Make an appointment for a consultation today!