When a person dies, a family member or friend of the deceased is appointed by the court to distribute the assets and wrap up the estate. This process can be much easier for the executor — and much quicker for the beneficiaries — if independent administration is specified in the person's will. In a nutshell, this gives the estate representative authority to act as he or she sees fit to settle the estate as efficiently as possible.
The Chicago law firm of Jill M. Metz & Associates Attorneys at Law can address independent administration in estate planning and drafting or revising a will. We also advise independent administrators in the estate administration process ("probate"). In addition to serving clients in Cook County and statewide, we welcome out-of-state executors who need a local lawyer's help to settle an Illinois estate.
Estate Settlement By Independent Estate Administration Lawyers
What Iis independent administration? Under the Illinois Probate Act, there are two avenues for closing an estate — dependent administration (the default method) and independent administration. An individual must specifically insert language in his or her will to opt for independent administration of the estate and to designate a specific person to fulfill those duties.
What is independent administration? Under the Illinois Probate Act, there are two avenues for closing an estate — supervised administration, which is heavy on court supervision of all matters in the probate case, and independent administration, in which the administrator is accountable to the court, but has a lot of discretion in the handling of all matters in the probate case.
Independent administration is easiest for your executor to secure if you have specifically inserted language in your will to opt for independent administration of the estate and to designate a specific person to fulfill those duties.
The main advantages are that an independent administrator:
- Can settle the estate without the court's micromanagement
- Does not need to get the court's pre-approval for transactions
- Does not have to post a bond or surety
- Can generally wind down the estate much faster
A good illustration of the differences is holding an estate sale. A supervised administrator must make a detailed plan, obtain quotes from an auction house, get the plan approved by a probate judge and give a thorough accounting after the sale. An independent administrator can simply hire an agency to plan and run the sale and deposit the proceeds afterward, and provide the accounting for the sale along with the overall estate accounting when the probate case is scheduled to close.
Independent Vs. Dependent
— Do You Expect Things To Go Smoothly?
If your heirs are litigious and likely to harass and second-guess your executor, you may want to forgo independent administration. Otherwise, there are few drawbacks so long as you choose a competent and trusted person. Conversely, beneficiaries can petition the court for a dependent administration if they do not trust the appointed executor to honor his or her fiduciary duty to the estate during the probate process.
Talk To Experienced Probate Attorneys In Chicago
For more information about the independent estate administration process in Illinois and our legal services in probate law, call the Chicago independent administration lawyers of Jill M. Metz & Associates at 773-878-4480 or email our firm to schedule a consultation.
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