Probate is a legal term that can either refer to the specific probate of a Will in the local court system, or more generally as the administration of any decedent's estate in the local court system (whether or not there is a valid Will).
When an attorney refers to "probate" as an area of the law, he or she is typically referring to the Court process of administering an Estate. This is done by opening a probate Estate in the local Court, obtaining Court authorization to handle all of the decedent's assets and debts, and distributing those assets and paying the debts according to the Will or the Illinois Intestacy laws. Once the estate has been properly administered, the Court will approve the Final Report and Account of the representative and order the estate to be closed.
While many estate planning attorneys portray the probate system in a negative light, the system is generally efficient and routine, and provides all parties involved with a much greater oversight of the process than court-avoidance options such as trust administrations. In addition, trust administrations can oftentimes be just as costly and time-consuming as probate administrations, especially if there is litigation involved.
If you would like to speak with an experienced Illinois Probate Lawyer, give us a call today at (630) 898-4789 to set up a free initial consultation.
The Law Office of Kevin Williams, 2295 Bannister Lane, Aurora, IL 60504, (630) 898-4789