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Probate Or Intestate Administration Guidance

Probate and intestate administration have inaccurate reputations for being expensive and time-consuming, but the statutory process has been streamlined over the years and can actually be more cost-effective than other options. When a person dies with significant assets in his or her name alone and left a Will, the court has an interest in making sure that the decedent’s assets are distributed to the right people as identified in the Will. When a person dies with significant assets in his or her name and does not leave a Will, the court also has an interest in making sure that the right people under the law receive distributions.

Probate and intestate administration are court processes during which:

  • The decedent’s Will is analyzed for validity or the decedent’s heirs under law are identified
  • Assets and debts are properly accounted for and gathered
  • The assets of the estate are distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will or the law

But those processes may not involve much court time. Most can be independently administered unless there is a family conflict. On the first court date, the Petition for Probate or to administer an intestate estate is presented and an executor or administrator is appointed. After that, the executor or administrator and attorney work together outside of court to gather the assets and determine how to liquidate or disburse. In the meantime, a legal notice is published in a local newspaper announcing the death and asking that any person who claims to be owed money by the deceased should file his or her claim in the court case. Six months after the first publication, all other debts or claims not filed in the case will be cut off and the probate proceedings may be terminated in a second or final court appearance if all of the estate has been distributed and debt accounted for.

How Much Does Probate Cost?

Fortunately, because the process has been streamlined and simplified a great deal since 40 years ago, going through probate often does not cost more than it would have cost to avoid probate with a trust and many times even less. The cost of probate these days is a function of how much time the attorney has to spend helping the executor get through the process so it often depends upon the state of affairs; i.e. how many assets does the deceased person have that need to be transferred and how many people are to receive assets. The larger those numbers are, the more it will probably cost. It is often a good idea to consult with Marsha Cellucci or a financial planner after retirement in order to find the best way to manage your assets to simply after-death procedures.

Meet With A Probate Attorney Today

When you are looking to settle an estate, let an attorney help you. Contact The Law Office of Marsha H. Cellucci at 630-912-5058 to schedule your initial consultation at the firm’s Naperville office today.