In Chatham, Illinois, probate is the process through which a Court decides if a will is valid or not.
As part of this procedure, the court in Chatham, Illinois has various important responsibilities. Most especially, it has to decide if the will is valid, and consider evidence that it is not (if any such evidence exists). The probate court then has to guarantee that the property is distributed in an orderly manner, as close to the terms of the will (assuming it is valid) as possible.
Wills typically name the person who is to serve as executor of the estate. If no executor is named, the Chatham, Illinois court will appoint an executor. This is typically the person who stands to gain the most if the will is found to be legitimate.
The executor is the person accountable for initiating the probate proceedings. The person who would inherit the most from the will is appointed, because they have the greatest motivation to move the process along as quickly as possible, so they can get their inheritance.
Duties of the Executor in Chatham, Illinois
The executor has various duties concerning the will. First of all, they have to actually initiate the probate hearings with the court, and this procedure has to be finalized before the will takes effect.
They additionally are obligated to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
The executor will also have to collect and make accessible a list of all of the decedent's debts and assets, as well as a list of those who stand to inherit from the decedent.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are typically chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to finalization.
How Can A Chatham, Illinois Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly confusing, it is not a bad idea to consult with a reliable probate lawyer in Chatham, Illinois, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.