Chicago Death Probate Attorneys
What Determines Whether a Decedent’s Estate Must be Probated?
The administration of a decedent’s estate is probably the type most familiar to people. What determines when an individual’s estate will have to go to probate? Well, contrary to what many people think, having a Will does not avoid probate. In fact, just the opposite is true. A Will is what is probated. Generally, in the State of Illinois it is the value of a person’s property and whether that person owned real estate that will determine the need for probate. If a person owned assets in his or her own name, without a joint owner or a beneficiary designation in excess of $100,000.00 the estate will have to be probated.
Why Do We Have Probate When Someone Dies?
Most people believe that the reason is to pass assets down to loved ones. However, that’s only part of the reason. The primary reason is to make sure that the Creditors of the deceased person get paid. Before any property or money can pass to family members or named beneficiaries of a person that has died, the probate rules require that certain steps are taken to insure that anybody the deceased person owed is duly paid before money and property can pass to family members or beneficiaries. Also, because the person that owned the assets that are being probated is dead, there is nobody with legal authority to buy, sell, trade or liquidate any of the assets unless someone is appointed by the probate court judge to transact with respect to the assets. The person appointed to transact with probate assets is considered the personal representative of the estate.