Practicing law since 1977


The Probate Process


Someone close to you has passed away and you believe you are the executor of the estate. What do you do?

First things first. It is disrespectful to go running for the will after the loved one has expired, unless it is to find out what his or her wishes were for the funeral. Hopefully, people who have made arrangements for themselves or have particular wishes about their remains have let their loved ones know what those wishes are. One of the worst things that can happen in a family is a disagreement on any of these details after someone has passed away. If there is any question or doubt as to what the wishes of the deceased were, finding the will or pre-paid burial plan can be the answer.

After the person has been laid to rest, it will eventually become time to deal with the financial and legal realities of that fact. In most cases, the surviving spouse or next of kin are in a state of shock for a period of time after the passing. That is not a good time to be making important financial decisions, and in most cases a few weeks of delay will cause no harm.

When it is time to start addressing those issues, the family should locate the original will or trust documents and contact their attorney. The law in Illinois states that a will must be filed within 30 days. There is no real penalty for failing to comply, and I have filed numerous wills decades after the passing.

Estate Planning
Auf Deutsch

2018, James Reichardt, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.