A common question a probate lawyer in Chicago may face is “how long does the probate process take?”. Heirs and beneficiaries would understandably like to wrap up the estate and get their inheritances as quickly as possible. However, this question isn’t as simple as many believe it to be. Here, potential clients will learn what affects the speed of the Illinois probate process.
The Necessity of Probate
In most cases, probate is necessary when assets exceed $100,000 or real estate is included. Clients can use the Small Estate Affidavit to avoid probate, but they should consult an attorney for an evaluation first. If it’s possible to avoid probate, the resolution process is typically faster as there’s no six-month claim period for creditors.
The Size and Complexity of the Estate
Estates vary significantly from one case to the next. Probating an elderly grandfather’s estate with a home, small cash holdings, and no debt is different than handling the estate of a wealthy heir, farmer or business owner. Businesses must be transferred, operated, appraised or liquidated, and vast estates mean more work and possible creditor disputes.
The Planning and Organization of the Estate
Properly planned estates don’t often end up in probate court. In such cases, decedents hold most of their assets in revocable trusts, which is a primary method of probate avoidance. While a will might still transfer some assets in such an estate, things are planned in a way that keeps those assets’ value below the threshold for the Small Estate Affidavit.
The Diligence of the Estate Representative
All estates must be managed by an appointed representative. If there’s a will, this person is referred to as an executor. However, if the person dies intestate (without a will), the representative is known as an administrator. With trust, the trustee is the representative. In many cases, a representative is a close relative or the person set to receive the largest portion of the estate.
Modest Illinois estates with diligent representatives, no complications, and an effective probate lawyer in Chicago take approximately a year to resolve. Visit the website for more details or call Starr, Bejgiert, Zink & Rowells to schedule a consultation. Follow us on Twitter.