Responsible adults of every age and wealth level can benefit from setting up an estate plan while they are sure of their wishes and sound mind. While the end of life is rarely a pleasant thing to contemplate, people are often surprised at the peace of mind they get when they know their wishes will be respected and their family members are protected.
Unfortunately, an unexpected death may have left your loved one unable to create an estate plan, leaving you – the executor or beneficiary – trying to determine what to do. If you are responsible for managing the estate of a deceased person (the “decedent”), consider meeting with an Illinois estate planning attorney to find out whether a small estate affidavit could benefit you.
Small Estate Affidavit in Illinois
When someone dies without an estate plan, their property must go through the Illinois probate process. This can be long, difficult, and expensive, to say nothing of the emotional burden of managing an unplanned estate after the loss of a loved one.
A small estate affidavit allows an estate’s executor (if there is a will) or a beneficiary (if there is not a will) to manage the debts and assets of the decedent without going through the probate process.
To qualify for a small estate affidavit, the following must be true:
- The total size of the estate must be worth less than $100,000
- There must not be real estate unless ownership was automatically transferred at the decedent’s death (such as in the case of a joint tenancy)
- An Illinois probate court has not given out any letters of office
- If there is a will, it must have been filed within 30 days of the decedent’s death
- There must not be any disputes between the decedent’s heirs
- If the decent has any unpaid debt, it is listed on the small estate affidavit
Any person or organization that has property belonging to the decedent’s estate must follow a properly handled small estate affidavit. If you anticipate trouble or are not sure how to manage a dispute about the estate, the attorney who helped you fill out the small estate affidavit can give you sound legal advice.
Hire an Experienced Lombard, IL Estate Planner
No matter the size of an estate, you can benefit from having experienced legal representation. To learn more about small estate affidavits, as well as any other estate planning instrument, schedule a confidential consultation with one of the DuPage County estate planning attorneys with A. Traub & Associates. We offer a friendly, relaxed environment where you can feel comfortable asking your questions knowing you will get the answers you need. Call us today at 630-426-0196.