If you have been appointed the executor of an estate or are choosing your own executor, you might have questions about the job of an executor in Illinois. Executors are in charge of distributing the estates of people who have passed away.
- Identifying Estate Assets
First, an executor’s job involves identifying estate assets. The deceased person might have kept assets all over the world or not told anyone about certain accounts. To distribute the assets, the executor must find them first. He or she also needs to find the assets to determine if the estate must be distributed with oversight of the Illinois probate courts. Smaller estates that do not include real estate do not have to go through probate.
- When the Executor Must Go to Probate Court
If the executor realizes that the estate has a value over $100,000 or that the deceased person owns real estate, then the executor needs to file with the probate court. The court reviews the will and officially appoints the executor to handle estate distribution. In addition, the court requires the executor to notify creditors that the estate is being probated, get valuations of property if needed, and locate heirs.
- When No Probate Court Is Required
When the estate has a lower value and no real estate, the executor can simply proceed to gather the assets, identify heirs, and distribute the assets to the heirs. This process can take less time than probate court. Delays occur when there is difficulty locating assets or heirs – as when they are located in other states or countries, or the deceased person has left little information about their location.
- Taxes and Other Business
Beyond just distributing assets, the executor is responsible for paying taxes for the deceased person. This includes not only filing the deceased person’s federal income taxes for his or her year of death, but also preparing an estate tax return if the estate is above a certain value (in the millions of dollars). The executor also has to handle state and local taxes.
Finally, the executor remains in charge until all estate assets have been distributed (including until any required property sales have closed), all disputes have settled, and all taxes are paid. At that point, he or she is discharged of the demanding duties of an executor.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.