• 3051 Oak Grove Drive, Suite 107, Downers Grove, IL 60515• Naperville Office By Appointment

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DuPage County Probate Lawyer

Will County probate court attorney for contested estates

Attorney for Decedents' Estates in Downers Grove

When a person dies, the process of managing their affairs and carrying out their last wishes can often be very complex. A person's last will and testament will typically appoint someone to serve as the executor or personal representative of the estate. The executor will be required to complete the probate process and address all of the issues involved in administering the estate. In these cases, it is important to work with an attorney who understands how to address matters related to decedents' estates.

At SBK Law Group, our lawyers have more than 25 years of combined experience, and we can provide representation in probate court and help you meet your requirements when administering a loved one's estate. We will work with you to address any issues that may arise and complete the probate process as efficiently as possible. 

Understanding the Probate Process

A deceased person is known as a decedent, and the executor or personal representative of a decedent's estate is required to file their will in probate court within 30 days after the decedent's death. The executor will then take a complete inventory of the decedent's property, assets, and debts. They will be required to file a tax return for the estate and pay income taxes or estate taxes, pay any outstanding debts, and distribute the decedent's assets to their beneficiaries according to the instructions provided in the will. The executor will need to provide a full accounting to the court, the decedent's beneficiaries, and any other interested parties regarding the distribution of the estate's assets.

What if There Was No Will?

If a decedent did not have a valid will at the time of their death, this is known as "dying intestate," and their assets will be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession in Illinois law. Under these laws, assets will be divided equally between the decedent's spouse and their children or other descendants. If the decedent was not married or did not have any descendants, assets may go to other family members, such as siblings, parents, grandparents, or more remote relatives. If a person had no surviving relatives, their assets will become the property of the state of Illinois.

In cases involving intestate succession, an interested person, such as a potential beneficiary, may be appointed by the court as the personal representative of the estate. This person will be responsible for completing the probate process and addressing any issues related to the decedent's final affairs.

Can a Will Be Contested?

In some cases, a decedent's family members or loved ones may believe that their will was invalid, or they may not agree with certain terms in the will. In these cases, a will may be contested through probate litigation. Wills are typically contested based on one of the following grounds:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity - A person must be of sound mind when creating a will. An interested person may believe that the decedent did not understand the terms of the will when it was created or updated.
  • Undue influence - A decedent's heirs may believe that a beneficiary coerced or influenced the decedent to include terms in their will that went against their actual intentions.
  • Fraud - An interested party may believe that a will was modified after it was signed by the decedent or that the decedent's signature was forged.

Contact a Downers Grove Probate Attorney

If you have been named as the executor of a loved one's estate, or if you are a beneficiary who needs to address issues related to a family member's will, SBK Law Group can provide you with the legal help you need. We can provide you with representation when filing a will in probate court or pursuing probate litigation, and we will help you make sure your loved one's wishes are carried out correctly. To get started, contact us today at 630-427-4407. We assist clients with wills and estates in DuPage, Will, Kendall, Kane, and Cook Counties.

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