Choosing an executor for your Illinois Last Will and Testament is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the estate planning process. Do not make the mistake of taking this appointment lightly, as your executor has a tremendous amount of responsibility during the probate of your estate.
As soon as you die, your executor’s job begins. The executor of your Will is responsible for preparing the documents needed to open the probate of your estate. Although most executors retain the assistance of an estate planning attorney, the executor is ultimately responsible for overseeing the probate process.
Once the probate is open, your executor must locate, inventory, and value all of your estate assets. The inventory must be reported to the court if your estate goes through a formal probate process. Next, the executor must notify creditors and the public of the probate. Creditors then have a statutory period of time within which to file a claim against your estate. Those claims must be reviewed by the executor and either paid or denied. If a creditor appeals a denial, it must be litigated in court. Likewise, if anyone files a Will contest, your executor must defend your Will in court.
Tax returns for your estate must also be prepared and filed by the executor. Finally, your executor will be responsible for preparing all documents necessary to transfer remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in your Will.
Given the numerous duties and responsibilities your executor has, great care should be taken when deciding who to appoint to the position. If you would like guidance with this important choice, please call us at (309) 944-2188 today to set up a private consultation.
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