An Illinois probate lawyer can answer many of the most common questions that you or other heirs have in the process of distributing the assets inside a loved one’s estate. While many estates can be straightforward and only require minimal paperwork and a few months inside court, this is not the case for every instance of probate administration. In fact, most people find themselves in over their head if they thought probate was going to be simple when it’s months in and they still have more work to do or are handling complicated concerns like a will contest.
Hiring a Lawyer to Help with Probate-Related Issues in IL
An Illinois probate lawyer can be instrumental in helping you get organized for situations like this and discovering how to proceed if you suspect that there are any causes for probate disputes or other issues. In the state of Illinois, estates that are small can be distributed through something that is known as estate affidavit and therefore, do not require an attorney to settle distribution. However, there are many other cases in which an estate executor might reach out to a probate attorney in Illinois to get support for clarifying all of the details or handling more complex cases.
An executor is held liable for any mistakes that can be made while distributing the property and this person can be sued if the process is done incorrectly. This means that many executors choose to seek the services of a lawyer to cover themselves can have clear understandings of their processes. The Illinois probate act does not mandate that an executor hire an attorney for probate cases but there are many reasons why an executor will still be interested in legal representation for the estate.
The attorney can help secure probate hearing surety bonds, which is typically required to protect heirs from any mistakes that are made in the distribution of property from an estate. This becomes more complicated without using an Illinois probate attorney because companies will charge a higher premium due to the greater possibility of mistakes. Because of the complexity associated with managing a probate case, there are many opportunities for errors, omissions and mistakes. You can minimize this by choosing to work with an experienced lawyer.
When Should a Probate Attorney Be Hired?
Getting legal advice about probate in general as well as specific state rules and best practices on how to distribute property can be very beneficial and is a leading reason why any executor should consider this option. How much money is inside the estate and the types of assets owned by the estate can be the most significant factors in determining whether or not an executor needs to hire a lawyer. The types of assets included in an estate determine whether or not a probate hearing is required in order to distribute these assets and in determining whether or not there is enough money inside the estate to pay out any debts. Different estates have different rules about which creditor should be paid first and this becomes especially complicated when the decedent owned property in multiple states. Usually the payment for an attorney is taken out of the estate as an administrative fee. The only exception to this is when the attorney’s bill is used to defend the executor’s own errors and mistakes. Hiring an attorney can be one of the best things you can do when approaching this process because you minimize the possibility of estate planning conflicts or concerns. For an executor who is not familiar with the probate process, hiring an attorney can show to beneficiaries that you are taking your role seriously and have the insight of a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through this process.
When to Get Help Handling These Legal Issues
The support of an attorney is most effective when you are unsure of your role or need greater support in understanding some of the most common pitfalls to avoid. If you find yourself in the position of being appointed to administer an estate, retaining an attorney as soon as possible can help to protect your interests.