In North Chicago, Illinois, probate is the process in which a court validates or voids a will.
During probate, the court in North Chicago, Illinois will determine the validity of the will, distinguish and inventory the decedent's assets, account for the decedent's debts and back taxes, and distribute the decedent's property, among other things.
The executor of the estate is frequently named in the will. If not, the probate court in North Chicago, Illinois will name will appoint a person to serve as executor. This is typically the person who stands to inherit the most under the will.
The executor is the person who has to get the ball rolling on the probate process, and essentially serves as a living symbol of the decedent's estate. It is their job to defend the estate from debtors (if a legitimate defense for the debt exists, of course), and wind up any legal proceedings that the decedent might have been engaged in. If an executor needs to be appointed, a court typically chooses the person who will inherit the most if the will is given effect, since that person will have the most incitement to carry out the duties of the executor.
Duties of the Executor in North Chicago, Illinois
The executor has various duties with respect to the will. First, it is his or her job to actually initiate probate proceedings, which often must be finished before the will is given effect.
They additionally are required to provide notice to the people with a direct interest in the estate that the decedent has died, typically by filing a death certificate.
If the decedent was even somewhat well-off financially, it's likely that they'll have substantial amounts of both debts and assets. The executor is tasked with drafting an accurate accounting of the debts and assets of the estate, so as much of the decedent's debts can be paid off as possible.
Finally, executors have to actually put forth the effort to establish that a will is valid. As the sole legal representative of the estate, this is their job, and is required for them to inherit, giving them an incentive.
How Can A North Chicago, Illinois Lawyer Help?
Because this process can be fairly intricate, it is not a bad idea to consult with a knowledgeable probate lawyer in North Chicago, Illinois, especially if you find yourself as the executor of an estate and don't know how to proceed.