Once a person passes away, the estate administration process begins. And it can quickly become very complicated depending on certain factors. That’s why Granholm & Gynac is here to help.
Not every decedent’s estate will require a probate case. When people make proper and advanced estate plans, including trusts and pour-over wills, going to court for probate is rare unless an heir challenges a legacy. If a person dies without a will or trust, but owned no real estate and left behind an estate worth less than $100k, filing a probate case is also not normally needed. These smaller estates can generally be disposed of through the use of notarized, out of court paperwork called a Small Estate Affidavit.
Probate cases are most commonly required because someone owned real estate, was the last to die on title, and did not have a trust in place to pass that real estate title to their heirs without involving the court. They’re also filed when people with more substantial personal assets never got around to implementing a proper estate plan.
Probate cases are typically opened by either an executor named in the decedent’s will or an heir who is willing to step up and become a court-appointed administrator when there was no will. Cases must be filed with the Circuit Court in the county where the person who passed away was living. Then all heirs, beneficiaries and potential creditors must be properly notified.
In a best case scenario, a probate estate is mostly a matter of following through with paperwork and can take anywhere from six months to a year to close out. However, if a family member disputes a will, creditors come knocking, or the executor is accused of misconduct, the time and money required to complete the probate process can quickly increase.
Estate Administration and Probate Attorneys
If you’ve been designated as the executor or administrator of an estate, Granholm & Gynac in Joliet can step in and take this burden off your shoulders during your time of grief. We will assist with:
- Initiating probate proceedings if necessary
- Identifying and informing heirs/beneficiaries
- Providing court representation for disputes
- Taking inventory and appraisal of all assets
- Transferring or selling real estate properties
- Paying off valid, outstanding debts and taxes
- Distributing assets, property and possessions
- Overseeing the implementation of any trusts
- Filing a final accounting to close the estate
Preparing for the Inevitable
If you are in the process of estate planning in anticipation of your own passing, our attorneys can also advise you on estate administration and probate law to ensure your affairs are in order and your final wishes will be honored without undue strain on your spouse, children or other loved ones. Depending on your assets we can set up an estate plan to minimize disputes, reduce taxes and ensure your loved ones are taken care of properly. Simply get in touch to get started.