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Administering an estate: what will you have to do?

When a loved one dies, there are various things you and your loved ones will have to do to handle his or her estate. This can be a difficult process, especially if you are in a time of grief and upheaval due to the loss. Administering an estate is a tremendous responsibility, and you would be wise to learn what your expectations are and how you should proceed.

As the executor of an estate, you have the responsibility to take certain steps to wrap up the financial affairs of the deceased. This can be a daunting task, and it helps to be prepared and reach out for help. Your Illinois family does not have to walk through this process alone. 

What are your duties?

When drafting a will, a person may name a friend, loved one or trusted individual to act as the executor of the estate. If a will does not name a specific person, the court may appoint someone else to act in this capacity. As the executor of the estate, you will have certain responsibilities you must handle, including the following:

  • Locating all of the assets owned by the deceased and associated with the estate
  • Contacting and informing all of the heirs, beneficiaries and others mentioned in the will
  • Filing the will with the right probate court within the appropriate amount of time
  • Finding out if there are any disputes and deciding if probate will be necessary
  • Making payments owed by the estate, paying final taxes and handling any remaining debts
  • Doing other things required to wrap up the estate of the deceased
  • Giving property to heirs and distributing property according to what is in the will

Executing a will and administering an estate is not always easy, and it can take months or longer to complete. It may be beneficial for you to seek guidance in order to prevent mistakes that could disrupt or extend the process. 

Peace of mind for all estate matters 

It is an overwhelming process to settle an estate, wrap up the affairs of a loved one and make sure to honor the wishes expressed in his or her will. If your family is facing this task, involved in a dispute over estate administration matters or wants to know how to avoid problems, it is prudent to seek help as soon as possible. Discussing your case with an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

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