When a loved one dies, you may have many legal questions, especially if you have been named as the administrator or executor of his or her estate. If you need answers to these often-complex questions, the dedicated legal professionals at the law firm of Herman J. Marino Ltd., P.C., are here to help.
Whether you need assistance with the probate of a will, administration of a trust or anything in between, we are committed to providing you with knowledgeable, effective legal guidance. We can even help you with estate-related court proceedings and other litigation. We realize that the loss of a loved one is often traumatic, so let us help make the estate and trust administration process as easy as possible.
Is Probate Always Needed?
In Illinois, probate is the term used to describe the court-supervised process in which an executor is given the authority to distribute the estate's assets to its heirs and beneficiaries, as well as make sure all debts and taxes are paid. Typically, if the total value of the estate is less than $100,000, formal probate proceedings are not needed and an heir can simply file an affidavit to claim his or her inheritance.
In other cases, the executor of the estate will distribute the assets according to the will's instructions ― so long as a valid will exists, that is. If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator to carry out the distribution required under state law.
Whatever the case may be, the probate process in Illinois can be complicated and difficult to navigate, which is why it is often best to speak to a lawyer.
What About Trusts?
You can avoid probate in many ways. For instance, a common estate-planning method used to protect assets from probate is to place them in a trust. However, even after a trust has been created, it still has to be administered, a process that often involves making distributions to beneficiaries and paying outstanding debt.
In addition, there are several different kinds of trusts ― all with their own specific benefits and drawbacks. For help with trust administration, or to learn which type of trust may work best to achieve your estate planning goals, contact an attorney today.
Call Us For A Consultation
No matter whether you need assistance with estate planning or estate administration, the law firm of Herman J. Marino Ltd., P.C., in Chicago can help. We even offer initial consultations. Call us today at 312-347-9990.