It’s never easy when a loved one dies, especially if you’re the one chosen to guide the resulting estate through the necessary legal process.

The process required to settle an estate can seem confusing, but the good news is that the professional Estate Administration attorneys at Huck Bouma, PC can help smooth the path.

The goal, of course, is to assure that your loved one’s expressed final wishes are met.

Whether the decedent had a will and/or used a living trust, there is a process that must be followed. Starting quickly after death to meet state-imposed deadlines can result in substantial cost savings and greatly reduce the likelihood of later problems. The assistance provided by Estate Administration team at Huck Bouma can help the estate’s Executor (or Personal Representative):

  • Clear title to the assets.
  • Work with a CPA to be sure that the tax aspects of administration are properly addressed.
  • Assure that all debts, costs of administration, taxes and other estate liabilities are paid.
  • Distribute the balance of the estate to those entitled to inherit from the decedent.

Executors/Personal Representatives often are confused by the arcane language of Estate Administration. The term “probate” is perhaps the most misunderstood.

Probate is the formal, court-supervised administration of an estate. In Illinois, small estates – those with a gross value of less than $100,000 – may make use of a Small Estate Affidavit to avoid formal probate.

Your loved one may have also created and transferred assets to a living trust. This type of planning results in the avoidance of probate, although the non-court administration of trust assets is still required. Usually, however, administration of estates funded by a living trust is simpler and less expensive.

Administration of a loved one’s estate is neither simple nor intuitive. Our role Huck Bouma is to help you deal with your loss by assisting with the necessary legal process.

Any of the attorneys at Huck Bouma can help. You can begin the process by downloading a copy of our Estate Administration questionnaire, complete the information requested, and send it to us. We will then call you to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Estate Administration attorneys.

– Heinz J. Brisske