When a loved one dies there are a couple of important steps that must be done in order to open an estate. First, the original will must be located and filed within thirty days (30) of death in the county that the person lived. [To read more about filing wills, check out our post, “Do I Need to File a Will in Illinois?”] Once the will is filed and you obtain certified copies of the will from the county’s clerk office, you or your attorney will file a petition to admit the will to probate and open an estate.
Upon opening the estate, the Court appoints a representative to administer the Estate and distribute the assets as requested in the will. The representative, also known as the Executor, is named in the Will, and the kind of legal flexibility is specified as well.Most commonly, the representative is appointed as an independent executor. Generally, an independent executor does not have to obtain court orders or file inventories and accountings with the Court during the probate process unless specifically asked by the Court or requested in the Will.
Supervised Administration requires the Court to supervise every part of the probate process. Every decision the executor wants to make such as selling or distributing assets of the Estate must first obtain Court approval. Additionally, the Supervised Executor(s) must file with the Court a yearly inventory and accounting that describes each transaction made within the Estate. Due to the extra restrictions, Supervised Administration requires more time spent filing documents and making court appearances which results in a more expensive process.
On the other hand, if your loved one dies without leaving behind a Will, the Court will appoint someone to administer the estate. The Administrator is under the control of the probate court and is typically a relative. The Independent Administrator must provide yearly accountings and inventories of the Estate to the heirs but does not have to file them with the Court.
Similarly, a Judge may order a Supervised Administration upon petition of an heir or creditor in place of the independent administration if the estate is contested. If a Supervised Administration supersedes an Independent Administration, it becomes necessary to not only inform all interested parties, but to also request Court approval for any decisions made regarding the distribution of assets.
At Hays Firm, we are familiar with all of the obstacles and challenges that may come your way after being named an Executor or Administrator. For a free consultation on how our services may be able to assist you, fill out our contact form located on the contact page or click HERE.