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Probate And Alternative Forms Of Testamentary Disposition

Probate is generally a term that refers to the court proceedings required to make sure the property of a deceased person goes to the right people. Probate technically refers to estates where the deceased person left a Will but in lay terms, it includes the administration of estates where the deceased person died without a Will also. In any event, if the deceased person has a property that is titled in his name alone at the time of death, without any other alternative form of testamentary direction, the court has to oversee the distribution of that property. However, in most cases, the Will, if there is one, is filed, the paperwork necessary to open a court proceeding is completed and filed and the executor or administrator is appointed. Notice is published in a local newspaper informing the public that claims for any debts owed by the decedent should be filed with the court within six months or forever be foreclosed. Then the process of gathering assets and debt information takes place, debts are paid or negotiated, assets liquidated or distributed, cash is accumulated and deposited into an estate bank account opened by the executor or administrator. The executor will continue to pay bills, may handle the sale of real estate, and may choose to make early distributions of some of the assets to the heirs while waiting for the six month claim period to pass or not. After the closing of the claims period, paperwork is completed and filed to close the estate.

While a Will can direct the distribution of property on death or the law can direct the distribution of property when there is no Will, there are also other alternative ways of making sure property is transferred upon your death to the person or persons you want to receive it. That may be done by setting up joint ownerships, executing TODIs (Transfer on Death Instruments), naming beneficiaries for insurance, investments or other beneficiary assets, establishing land trusts. All of these options can be discussed in your conference with attorney Cellucci and the best option or options for your needs can be determined.

Choose An Experienced Attorney To Help You

When you need someone to help you with your testamentary disposition needs, contact The Law Office of Marsha H. Cellucci at 630-912-5058 to schedule your initial consultation at the firm’s Naperville office.