A common question heard by Chicago probate lawyers is, “How long will it take?” Heirs and other interested parties would like to receive their inheritances as quickly as possible, but the question isn’t as simple as most people believe. Below are a few major considerations that affect the speed with which Probate Law in Chicago progresses.
Is Probate Necessary?
Typically, probate is needed when the estate’s assets exceed $100,000 or when there’s real estate involved. The Illinois Small Estate Affidavit is a primary way to avoid probate, and if it can be used, the process is significantly expedited. Contact an attorney to evaluate the estate for potential probate avoidance.
Is the Estate Complex and Large?
Estates vary widely in complexity and size. For instance, probating an elderly person’s estate is much different from managing the affairs of an heiress, farmer, or business owner. If the decedent led a complicated financial life, probate may take longer than in ordinary estates. Businesses must be liquidated, appraised, or operated, and numerous other parties become involved. This slows the process down and increases expenses.
Was the Estate Organized?
Well-planned estates usually stay out of probate. In such cases, a decedent holds his or her assets in revocable trusts, which is a principal way to avoid probate before death. While there still may be a will that transfers miscellaneous property, the estate is structure to keep the value of these assets below the threshold for the Illinois Small Estate Affidavit. Where a trust is present, consult a firm practicing Probate Law in Chicago to see if probate is necessary.
Is the Estate Representative Doing His or Her Job?
All estates must have representatives in charge of management. In cases where there’s a will, the person is known as an executor; if there is no will, the person in charge is called an administrator. Where there’s a trust, though, the trustee is the representative. While some representatives have useful skills, others have none and must delegate responsibilities to other parties. Ideally, a representative will have the time and ability to do the work, but if they don’t, it’s best to choose someone else or to consult an attorney with the firm of Starr Bejgiert Zink & Rowells. Like us on Facebook.
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