Estate planning is part of the law that relates to wills, trusts and other, similar tools. It should help you prepare for your family’s future after you pass. Estate and probate administration are related, but different. It is the practice that handles what estate planning plans for. Many firms in Illinois that handle one of these elements of legal practice also handle the other.

As explained on FindLaw, there are many nuances to probate and estate administration. Generally speaking, one of the strongest indications that your case may have probate administration concerns is if the person whose estate is in question died without leaving a will.

From the start of the estate planning process the final resolution of probate court, it is likely that there will be a variety of people involved. In certain cases one individual might take multiple roles. More often, as mentioned above, a single law firm would handle a case and assign attorneys to each task. You could also, depending on the complexity of your case, handle most things yourself, take straightforward roles and hire others for more complex ones or hand off the majority of the work to another entity.

For all of its complexity, probate is actually designed to simplify the process of transferring assets and prevent more serious conflicts in the future. Having a legal process should give everybody the chance they need to speak up and air grievances. Having a final decision and an official transfer of assets often also helps.

Probate and estate administration are not always indicated. However, when they are appropriate, these legal practices have the potential to reduce time spent and conflict during the probate process. This is not legal advice. It is only meant as background information.