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Probate Lawyer in the Chicago Metropolitan Area
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Once a will is created, its terms are not necessarily set in stone. In order for a deceased person’s wishes to be officially carried out, the document must first go through probate court.
If your loved one has recently passed away and their will is entering probate, get in touch with us for legal guidance today.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process through which the assets of a deceased person are examined, and a plan for distributing those assets is determined. The probate process may be guided by an existing will or lead according to state laws if there is no will in place or if the will is labeled as invalid.
The Probate Process
A will must be filed with the probate court by the executor (this is a person who is responsible for administering the terms of a will and is generally identified in the document). To begin the probate process, the court will first decide whether the terms of a will can be enforced. If a will is deemed as valid, the court, along with the executor, will establish a plan for distributing the deceased person’s assets and taking care of additional responsibilities (such as appointing a guardian for the deceased person’s children).
How Having a Will Impacts Probate
The probate process differs depending on whether the deceased person had a will in place or not. If a person dies intestate, the probate court process will involve outlining the details that would have been established in a will. Rather than posthumous responsibilities being handled by a named executor, the court will appoint an administrator of the estate. This person must identify heirs, and the probate court will decide how the deceased person’s assets will be given to those heirs.
In Illinois, the assets of a person who died without a generally go to spouses and children first; if the deceased had no spouse or children, their assets are distributed to their parents and/or siblings. The probate court would decide how to distribute assets if the deceased had no living immediate family.
We Are Available to Assist You
At Wolff Legal, our attorney is here to answer your questions about probate and support you throughout the progression of your case.