probate independent administration vs. supervised administration

Illinois Probate: What is the Difference Between Independent Administration And Supervised Administration?

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 1, 2019

The purpose of this article is to explain the difference between supervised administration and independent administration for probate cases in Illinois. ​Probate cases can be handled in one of two ways: Supervised Administration and Independent Administration.  Supervised Administration requires the executor or administrator of the estate to seek court approval for most decisions that he or she makes.  Independent Administration, on the other hand allows the executor to potentially appear in court only twice: once at the opening of the probate estate, in order to be appointed executor; and a second time at the closing of the estate in order to file his or her final report with the court, close the case, and be discharged as executor.  

Supervised administration may be necessary in one of two situations: (1) if it is ordered by the court; or (2) if it is requested by an interested party.  Supervised administration of an estate may be ordered by the court in order to protect the interest of minors or disabled individuals.  In the absence of the judge deciding independently to order supervised administration, estates will typically be administered independently unless supervised administration is requested by an interested party, such as an heir or creditor.  

‍If supervised administration is requested by an heir or creditor, whether it is granted will depend largely upon whether there is a will in place, and what the will directs.  If there is a will that states that the estate shall be administered independently, then the party seeking supervised administration will have to show good cause before supervised administration will be ordered.  If there is no will, or if the will is silent as to independent administration, then supervised administration will be ordered automatically upon request, without the necessity of the requesting party showing good cause.  

‍In an independently administered estate, the executor is not required to file the accounting or inventory with the court, but instead need only provide these documents to interested parties.  The executor can also sell assets, pay debts, and distribute real estate to heirs without court approval.  

‍If the estate is subject to supervised administration, the executor is required to file the accounting and inventory with the court and must seek court approval before making any major decision, such as paying creditors and distributing or liquidating assets.  Minor tasks, such as paying utility bills and mortgages may still be performed without court approval.  

‍Supervised administration can be beneficial if there is a lack of trust between the executor and other interested parties.  It allows interested parties to be assured that their interests will be protected by the court.  However, there are major drawbacks to supervised administration: (1) it delays the executors actions and creates more work for the executor; and (2) it increases the amount of attorney time that must be expended in administering the estate, thus making the estate administration more costly and giving the heirs a smaller piece of the pie.  

‍The best way to ensure that supervised administration is not required for your estate is to meet with an attorney to draft a will that explicitly directs that the estate be administered independently. ​

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

supervised administration of Illinois probate estates explained

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Probate & Estate Administration

Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required