Oak Forest Law Office
5455 W 159th St.
Oak Forest, IL 60452
(708) 535 8700
Toll-Free (866) 588 5990

Illinois Probate & Trust Administration

Cook County probate lawyers PROBATE ADMINISTRATION

Probate is a legal proceeding filed in a county courthouse for the purpose of administering the estate of a deceased individual. Administration of an estate is conducted by the personal representative of the estate and includes liquidation of assets, payment of debts, and distribution of net assets.

There are two main types of probate proceedings. The first is referred to as a testate proceeding, meaning the deceased left a valid will. The second is known as an intestate estate, meaning the deceased died leaving no will. The personal representative of a testate proceeding is the executor named in the will. With respect to intestate proceedings, the personal representative is known as the administrator who is typically a close relative of the deceased.

The duties of the personal representative may include the following:

  • Collecting the assets
  • Making an inventory of all assets of the estate
  • Obtaining appraisal of real estate
  • Payments of debts owed by the estate
  • Filing and paying federal and state income tax returns for the estate
  • Filing and paying the final lifetime income tax returns
  • Preparing an accounting showing the assets received and payments made
  • Distributing the assets of the estate to the legatees listed in the will, or absent a valid will, to the heirs set forth by statute

The administration of a testate estate is in accordance with the terms and provisions set forth in the will. With respect to an intestate estate, administration is pursuant to Illinois State laws of descent and distribution. Whether an estate is testate or intestate, only those assets which are owned by or titled solely in the name of the deceased are subject to probate proceedings. Assets which are owned jointly or which list a pay on death beneficiary are not subject to probate proceedings. Such non-probate assets transfer automatically to the surviving owner of the named beneficiary. Examples of non-probate assets include joint tenancy accounts, life insurance policies which name a beneficiary, and assets titled in the name of a trust.

Most probate proceedings are uncontested; however, contested issues arise in some proceedings. Contested proceedings involve certain disputed issues, such as the validity of the will or the legitimacy of claims by creditors.

Being a personal representative can be confusing and stressful. Ashack Law Group provides comprehensive legal representation of personal representatives in both uncontested and contested probate proceedings in Cook County and Will County. Our services include counseling the personal representative at all stages of the probate process so that the representative understands the process and that the proceedings are proper and efficient.

Contact us to schedule a consultation.


Cook County probate lawyersCertain types of estate plans provide for a trust, such as a Living Trust, as the primary estate plan document rather than a will. The main purpose of creating a Trust is to avoid probate. The person who creates the Trust is referred to as the Grantor. The personal representative of a Trust is referred to as the Trustee. The functions of a Trustee, after the death of the Grantor, are similar to the duties of a personal representative in a probate proceeding. However, the administration of Trust assets is private in nature, and probate proceedings are not required. It is important to note that only those assets which are titled in the name of the Trust, or which pass to the Trust by beneficiary designations, are subject to Trust administration. Assets intended to be subject to the terms of a Trust must be re-titled into the name of the Trust.

Ashack Law Group provides complete Trust administration services. As with probate proceedings, we counsel the personal representative, being the successor Trustee, at all stages of the administration process so that the process is understood and properly and efficiently executed.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

© 2013-2016 Ashack Law Group, A Professional Corporation. All rights reserved.

Ashack Law Group serves the legal needs of Businesses, Banks, and Individuals in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, including Oak Forest, Bridgeview, Park Forest, Oak Lawn, Alsip, Tinley Park, Joliet, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Homer Glen, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Mokena, Monee, New Lenox, Frankfort, Midlothian, Flossmoor, Homewood, and Peotone, and the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, and Will.

Law firm website by Caroline Andrew & Associates, LLC

Home Contact us