Probate is a legal process that authorizes the administrator (executor) of a decedent’s estate to collect the assets of a deceased person. Once collected, the decedent’s taxes and creditors are paid. Then, the decedent’s beneficiaries under a will or trust are paid. If there is no will or trust, the remaining assets pass by what’s known as the law of intestate succession. Specific heirs then share in the assets of the estate pursuant to statute.

If the decedent died with a will, it must be filed with the court in the county of his or her residence within 30 days of the date of death. If the decedent’s assets were in excess of $100,000, and no property passed automatically by joint tenancy or other legal means, an estate must be opened. Creditors are given six months after the decedent’s estate is opened to file any claims against the estate. Illinois has no time limit on how long probating an estate might take. On that basis, a short and ambitious time frame on probating an estate is about a year from the date that it was opened.

Family members are often confused on whether they should open an estate in probate court. David J. Franks is a probate lawyer in Moline, IL, and his practice is focused on estate planning and probate. He can help you determine whether you need to open an estate. If you are named as the administrator of an estate, he can be of great help to you in the fulfillment of your legal obligation while making sure that you discharge that obligation in a proper and timely manner. Contact the highly qualified and respected probate lawyer in Moline, IL, at Franks & Roeder with your probate questions or issues. You might even want to inquire about avoiding probate altogether with your own estate. Just call 563-362-3288 or use the easy contact form found at