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Winnebago County Probate Attorneys | Winnebago County Estate Administration Attorneys | Guardianship Attorneys, Winnebago County IL

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys | Winnebago County Estate Administration Attorneys | Guardianship Attorneys, Winnebago County IL

Dealing with loss takes a toll on you and your family, so our understanding Winnebago County probate attorneys are here to aleviate the stress that can come along with administrating your loved one's estate. We will guide you through the processes of estate administration to work towards putting this period of your life behind you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Dealing with loss takes a toll on you and your family, so our understanding Winnebago County probate attorneys are here to aleviate the stress that can come along with administrating your loved one's estate. We will guide you through the processes of estate administration to work towards putting this period of your life behind you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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Your Community Law Firm

Why O'Flaherty Law for My

Probate

Matter?

In this video, our Winnebago County Probate attorney describes why O'Flaherty Law is the best choice for your probate matter.

  • You And Your Family Will Be in Excellent Hands! Our firm has built a reputation for being great at what we do and for providing exceptional service and communication to our clients. Many of our clients have taken the time to leave us positive testimonials.  In 2016 we received the Avvo Client's Choice Award due to the overwhelmingly positive reaction from our clients.  In 2015 Kevin O'Flaherty was honored with Suburban Life Magazine's Best Under 40 Award.  Our Winnebago County probate attorneys are skilled, experienced, and singularly focused on amazing client service. 
  • We Are Cost Effective!  Our Winnebago County probate attorneys are cost-effective and efficient, with the goal of handling your loved-one's estate as expeditiously as possible. Choosing the wrong probate attorney can be unnecessarily expensive, but with O'Flaherty, you know you'll be getting the right help for an affordable cost.
  • We Are Comprehensive!  It is common for probate cases to require expertise in many areas of law, such as real estate, family law, business law, or litigation.  Our team of expert Winnebago County attorneys collectively have experience in nearly every area of law.  We work as a team to make sure that you get the benefit of all of our expertise.  

Some of Our Accomplishments

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys

Please contact our friendly

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys

at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation:

See below for our other locations. If our office locations are not convenient for you, we are happy to speak with you by phone.  ​​​

Hours: 9 am - 5 pm Mon - Fri

Our  Office Locations: 

Downers Grove Attorneys, Downers Grove Attorney, Downers Grove Lawyer, Downers Grove Lawyers

Downers Grove

5002 Main St, Ste. 201 Downers Grove, IL 60515

Naperville Attorney, Naperville Attorneys, Naperville Lawyers, Naperville Lawyer

Naperville

105 Jackson Avenue, Ste. 4b Naperville, IL 60540

Elmhurst Lawyer, Elmhurst Lawyers, Elmhurst Attorneys, Elmhurst Attorney

Elmhurst

​110 E. Schiller Street, Ste. 220B ​Elmhurst, IL 60126

Lake in the Hills Attorneys, Lake in the Hills Attorney, Lake in the Hills Lawyer, Lake in the Hills Lawyers

Lake in the Hills

8411 Pyott Road, Ste. 107, ​Lake in the Hills, IL 60156

Tinley Park Attorney, Tinley Park Attorneys, Tinley Park Lawyer, Tinley Park Lawyers

Tinley Park

​16557 Oak Park Avenue, Ste. B, Tinley Park, IL 60477

St. Charles Attorneys, St. Charles Lawyers, St. Charles Attorney, St. Lawyer

St. Charles

210 S Fifth St, Ste. 107B, St. Charles, IL 60174

Meet Our Owner

Kevin O'Flaherty oversees all legal matters and is actively involved in making sure every client's case, big or small, is handled with excellence and attention to detail. He is available to contact through phone and email and his rates are available upon request.

Here's What Our Clients Have to Say:

John Paul Clancy
Says...

"Kevin and his firm, O'Flaherty Law, are friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and professional. Kevin is a master at bringing people together and sharing ideas."

Kevin Sender
Says...

"Kevin O'Flaherty and his team at O'Flaherty Law are among the friendliest and easiest to work with attorneys I've dealt with. I would suggest them to any friends or business associates."

Kevin O'Flaherty was instrumental during the purchase process of my new house. I highly recommend him and the entire firm!

An excellent client experience, I recommend O'Flaherty Law to all of my clients that have a need for consultation in family law.

DuPage Family Law AttorneyDowners Grove Estate Planning Attorney
John Paul Clancy
Says...
"Kevin and his firm, O'Flaherty Law, are friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and professional. Kevin is a master at bringing people together and sharing ideas."
DuPage Family Law AttorneyDowners Grove Estate Planning Attorney
Kevin Sender
Says...
"Kevin O'Flaherty and his team at O'Flaherty Law are among the friendliest and easiest to work with attorneys I've dealt with. I would suggest them to any friends or business associates."
DuPage Family Law AttorneyDowners Grove Estate Planning Attorney
Mike Stehlik
Says...
"Kevin and his team are my "Go To" resource for clients that need estate planning"
Kevin Koc
Says...
Kevin O'Flaherty was instrumental during the purchase process of my new house. I highly recommend him and the entire firm!
Stephen Petersen
Says...
An excellent client experience, I recommend O'Flaherty Law to all of my clients that have a need for consultation in family law.
Troy Golden
Says...
Kevin is an excellent attorney. He helped me incorporate by business and provides legal counsel as need. I highly recommend him.

Click here for Videos, Podcasts, and Articles by our Winnebago County Probate Attorneys

Or Continue Scrolling Below to Browse some of our Most Helpful Articles

Illinois Trust Administration: Selling Real Estate

In this episode of Learn About Law, we explain the responsibilities of a trustee when selling real estate after a loved one passes away. Have any questions that weren't answered here? Let us know in the comment section! Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY4Q...

If you are a trustee responsible for the administration of a trust after the passing of a loved one, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust, within the limitations and instructions laid out by the trust document.  

If a trust is in place and estate planning has been done properly prior to the death of the grantor of the trust, it should not be necessary to open a probate estate.  However, if the beneficiaries disagree with the actions of the trustee, the beneficiaries may open a probate case and seek to make the trustee personally liable for mismanaged assets of the estate.  

Trustee responsibility is fairly cut and dry when dealing with liquid assets like a checking account.  However, the trustee's responsibility becomes more complicated when dealing with non-liquid assets like real estate.  

When real estate is present in an estate, the trustee must first decide whether to transfer the real estate to one of the beneficiaries.  This will usually result in a reduction of the share that the beneficiary is due from the remainder of the estate's assets or a payment from the beneficiary to the estate for the value of the home.  An alternative to an insider transfer is to sell the real estate on the open market and distribute the proceeds among the beneficiaries.  

Regardless of what is to become of the real estate, I recommend that the trustee seek written approval from all of the beneficiaries of the trust prior to the transaction.   In the absence of this written approval, one or more of the beneficiaries may later claim that the real estate was sold to a third party or transferred to one of the beneficiaries for less than market value.   The beneficiary could then open a probate case and seek to hold the trustee personally liable for breach of fiduciary duty.  

For example, if the market value of a home is $400,000.00 and the Trustee sells it for $300,000.00, whether to a third party or to an insider, the trustee may be personally liable for the $100,000.00 difference between market value and sale price.  However, if the trustee has received written agreement from the beneficiaries prior to the sale, the trustee will be able to rest easy knowing that she is protected from any future liability. 

Read More

If you are a trustee responsible for the administration of a trust after the passing of a loved one, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust, within the limitations and instructions laid out by the trust document.  

If a trust is in place and estate planning has been done properly prior to the death of the grantor of the trust, it should not be necessary to open a probate estate.  However, if the beneficiaries disagree with the actions of the trustee, the beneficiaries may open a probate case and seek to make the trustee personally liable for mismanaged assets of the estate.  

Trustee responsibility is fairly cut and dry when dealing with liquid assets like a checking account.  However, the trustee's responsibility becomes more complicated when dealing with non-liquid assets like real estate.  

When real estate is present in an estate, the trustee must first decide whether to transfer the real estate to one of the beneficiaries.  This will usually result in a reduction of the share that the beneficiary is due from the remainder of the estate's assets or a payment from the beneficiary to the estate for the value of the home.  An alternative to an insider transfer is to sell the real estate on the open market and distribute the proceeds among the beneficiaries.  

Regardless of what is to become of the real estate, I recommend that the trustee seek written approval from all of the beneficiaries of the trust prior to the transaction.   In the absence of this written approval, one or more of the beneficiaries may later claim that the real estate was sold to a third party or transferred to one of the beneficiaries for less than market value.   The beneficiary could then open a probate case and seek to hold the trustee personally liable for breach of fiduciary duty.  

For example, if the market value of a home is $400,000.00 and the Trustee sells it for $300,000.00, whether to a third party or to an insider, the trustee may be personally liable for the $100,000.00 difference between market value and sale price.  However, if the trustee has received written agreement from the beneficiaries prior to the sale, the trustee will be able to rest easy knowing that she is protected from any future liability. 

Read More

Learn About When Probate is Necessary

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys, Winnebago County Probate Lawyer, Winnebago County Estate Administration Attorneys, Winnebago County Guardianship Attorneys

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys, Winnebago County Probate Lawyer, Winnebago County Estate Administration Attorneys, Winnebago County Guardianship Attorneys

Probate is a court case in which the court oversees the distribution of a decedent's assets to his or her heirs and creditors.  In order to administer an estate in Illinois, probate will be necessary if:

‍(1) The decedent owned any real estate outside of a trust that is not deeded with a right to survivorship for the decedent's spouse (even if there is a mortgage) outside of a trust; OR 

(2) The decedent owned more than $100,000.00 in assets outside of either a trust or outside of accounts that are payable to a direct beneficiary upon death.

If probate is necessary, the person responsible for administering the estate, known as the executor, must have letters of office issued by the probate court before he or she can begin collecting the decedent's assets for distribution to creditors and heirs.  The executor will also have to file accountings, notices, and reports with the court regarding the collection and distribution of these assets.

How To Administer An Estate In Ten Steps

If you are the Executor or Trustee of an estate you should have our Winnebago County probate attorneys handle the legal aspects of estate administration.  However, even when working with a probate attorney, there are still several actions you will need to take on your own.  For a more detailed description of each of these actions, please read our Learn About Law article on the probate process here:

1.  Open an estate checking account.  

2.  Keep good records of all transactions with respect to the estate.  

3.  Deposit any cash you receive into a checking account.  

4.  Gather a complete list of the assets owned by the decedent.

5.  Manage the estate: Disconnect utilities, file a change of address with the post office, obtain insurance to protect assets of the estate, cancel unneeded insurance policies.  

6.  Financial Management: Close credit card accounts, notify financial institutions of the change of decedent's mailing address to your own address, determine whether Social Security will provide a burial benefit. 

7.  Pay debts and expenses from the estate checking account.  If the estate is going through probate, you must wait until the expiration of the 6 month creditor claims period before paying debts.  

8.  After paying creditors, distribute the balance of the estate to the heirs as directed by the decedent's will or trust.  Pay life insurance death benefits directly to the beneficiaries.

​9.  File Income Tax Returns 

10.  File Estate Tax Returns

If you are the Executor or Trustee of an estate you should have our Winnebago County probate attorneys handle the legal aspects of estate administration.  However, even when working with a probate attorney, there are still several actions you will need to take on your own.  For a more detailed description of each of these actions, please read our Learn About Law article on the probate process here:

1.  Open an estate checking account.  

2.  Keep good records of all transactions with respect to the estate.  

3.  Deposit any cash you receive into a checking account.  

4.  Gather a complete list of the assets owned by the decedent.

5.  Manage the estate: Disconnect utilities, file a change of address with the post office, obtain insurance to protect assets of the estate, cancel unneeded insurance policies.  

6.  Financial Management: Close credit card accounts, notify financial institutions of the change of decedent's mailing address to your own address, determine whether Social Security will provide a burial benefit. 

7.  Pay debts and expenses from the estate checking account.  If the estate is going through probate, you must wait until the expiration of the 6 month creditor claims period before paying debts.  

8.  After paying creditors, distribute the balance of the estate to the heirs as directed by the decedent's will or trust.  Pay life insurance death benefits directly to the beneficiaries.

​9.  File Income Tax Returns 

10.  File Estate Tax Returns

How to Open a Probate Case

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys, Winnebago County Probate Lawyer, Winnebago County Estate Administration Attorneys, Winnebago County Guardianship Attorneys

In order to open a probate estate, our Winnebago County probate attorneys will file several documents with the probate court:

  • Petition for Issuance of Letters of Office and Admission of Will:   This petition requests that a probate case be opened.  If there is a will, the petition requests that the will be admitted to probate.  It also requests that an order be issued by the court naming the petitioner as executor of the estate.  This order is called "Letters of Office," and it gives the executor the power to collect the assets of the estate and distribute them to creditors and heirs or legatees.  
  • Affidavit of Heirship - The Affidavit of Heirship lists the individuals who stand to inherit from the estate.  If there is a will, these individuals are called "legatees."  In the absence of a will, they are called "heirs." 
  • Affidavit as to Copy of Will - This is a sworn statement by the executor that, to the best of the executor's knowledge, the will be submitted to the probate court is accurate and the most recently executed will. 
  • Oath of Office - This is an written oath sworn by the executor to fulfill his or her fiduciary duties associated with the administration with the estate. 
  • Surety Bond or Non-Surety Bond - In order to initiate a probate case, a bond must be obtained by the executor from an insurance company to insure against the executor's mishandling of assets. 
  • Notice to Heirs and Legatees - A notice that the executor must mail to all individuals who stand to inherit from the estate informing them that the probate case has been opened. 
  • Publication Notice - Unknown creditors of the deceased must be informed that the probate case has been opened through publication in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks. 

Upon filing of these documents, a hearing will be held to appoint the executor and admit the will to probate.   

Read more about how to open a probate case.

Further Reading from our

Winnebago County Probate Attorneys