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How To Admit a Will to Probate?

Robertson Legal Group, LLC assists client with “how to admit a will to probate” court in Yorkville and Kendall County. Sean Robertson is an probate and estate planning attorney with offices in Yorkville.

Experienced Kendall County and Yorkville Probate Attorney

Probate is the process of determining who are the appropriate heirs or legatees of a person’s deceased estate. Simply put, probate court is where one’s family manages one’s assets and liabilities upon a deceased person’s death or otherwise known as a “decedent”. In Illinois, probate court is granted the authority to handle the management process and distribution of one’s assets. The Probate process is also the method of resolving a person’s unresolved or unpaid bills. Generally, a person’s unpaid debts are paid out of their estate after taking relevant expenditures into consideration.

Kendall County Probate Court: 23rd Judicial Circuit

In this article, we are going to limit our discussion to admitting a will into probate court in Kendall County. Generally, a decedent’s last will must be filed at the local courthouse where the decedent lived. The first step in the probate court process is filing of a Petition for Probate of Will and for Letters Testamentary. This Petition for Probate of Will is a legal document, which informs the court where the decedent resided, where the decedent died, and the relevant heirs and legatees. Furthermore, the Petition for Probate of Will identifies when the will was executed. Mailing out notice of the first court date is required as well. Generally, the probate attorney must notify all heirs and legatees.

Appointment of the Independent Administrator or Executor

The Court will examine the Last Will and Testament at the first court date. The court is identifying whether the last will and testament filed with the local courthouse was the original Will. The original Will is important because finding of the legal will indicates that the decedent intended it to be effective. On the contrary, copies of wills are more problematic in Illinois. Illinois has a presumption of revocation of lost wills, which are not the original wills. Thus, the Kendall County Court assumes that the decedent intended to revoke the Will if the heirs and legatees cannot find the original will. This presumption may be overcome with evidence such as establishing witness testimony by clear and convincing evidence.

Order Admitting Will to Probate and Appointing Representative

In Yorkville and Kendall County, an Order admitting Will to Probate and Appointing a Representative is a court order appointing a person as the executor of a will. Thus, the court has found that the proposed independent administrator has met the legal requirements for a will. Generally, the Will must be notarized and witnessed by at least two persons. Generally, at the first court date, the executor’s attorney will have an affidavit of heirship signed and notarized by the proposed independent administrator or executor. The affidavit of heirship is a formal statement that indicates the family relationships such as spouse, children, and siblings related to the decedent. An affidavit of heirship is essential in a probate case.

After the first court date, the executor or independent administrator’s attorney must mail out Notice of Probate to all heirs and legatees.

Independent Administration Mailed Notice to Interested Parties

Independent administration is the presumed administration of an independent administrator. Typically, the person appointed to manage a court supervised estate is considered an “independent administrator”. The term independent administrator only identifies a person appointed to manage a deceased person’s estate that left a valid will. Intestate succession has an executor versus an independent administrator. Independent administration means that the person does not need court approval before payment of estate liabilities and distribution of estate assets.

Within 42 days after the original Order admitting the Will to Probate court is entered, a heir or legatee may file a petition with the court requiring proof of the validity of the will. This notice of rights is highlighted in the mailing to the interested parties. See Section 6-21 of the Probate Act (Ill. Rev. State. Ch. 110 1/2, Par. 6-21). Moreover, an heir or legatee has 6 months from the original Order Admitting the Will to Probate to file a will contest. See Section 8-1 of the Probate Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 110 1/2, Par. 8-1). Thus, these important rights are highlighted on the notice that must be mailed to all heirs and legatees.

Inventory of Assets must be filed within 60 days

The independent administrator musts file an inventory of the personal and real estate assets within 60 days after being appointed as independent administrator. The purpose of the inventory of assets is to give heirs and legatees (and creditors) information related to the financial solvency of the decedent. The inventory of assets must be filed with the Kendall County Courthouse and mailed to all heirs and legatees.

Notification to Known Creditors and Publication of Notice to Unknown Creditors

The attorney for the decedent’s estate must file the Independent Administration Mailed Notice to Creditors. In Kendall County, this notice gives the creditor’s the deadline to submit a timely claim against the estate. Furthermore, the estate’s attorney must inform the known creditors of his or her information and how to reach the estate’s attorney. The creditor will be notified that the estate will be completed without court supervision as long as no interested person files a petition to terminate independent administration.

A Petition to Terminate Independent Administration is a legal document asking the court to revoke the lack of court supervision involving an estate. See Section 28-4 of the Probate Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 110 1/2, Par. 28-4).

The estate will be administered without Court supervision unless an interested party terminates independent supervision administration by filing a petition to terminate under Section 28-4 of the Probate Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 110 1/2, Par. 28-4). Generally, creditors have 6 months to file a timely claim after they have received notice or upon the publication of notice to creditors in the newspaper. Creditors of a decedent have two years to file a claim against a deceased person’s estate unless the probate process has occurred. The Probate process has the benefit of limiting the time period of claims against the estate.

Final Inventory: Final Report of Independent Administrator

The final step in probating a will is the filing of the “Final Report of Independent Administrator”. This report is sworn under oath and claims that the creditors have been notified and reasonable care has been used to attempt to notify them. Second, receipts and a breakdown of assets and liabilities must be disclosed to the heirs and legatees. Notice to the heirs and legatees must be timely made as well and given any heirs or legatees the ability to object to the final report or final accounting.

Contact Sean Robertson, a Yorkville and Kendall County Probate Attorney, at 630-882-9117 for a free initial consultation

In conclusion, Sean Robertson is an experienced Yorkville probate attorney with over 15 years of experience. Sean Robertson helps independent administrators discharge their legal and ethical responsibilities during the probate process in Kendall County. Sean Robertson is an estate planning and probate attorney with local offices in Yorkville and Kendall County.




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