An Overview of the Illinois Probate Claims Process

Web Admin - Thursday, February 13, 2014

illinois probate claims lawyerThe probate process in Illinois acts as a method of legally putting to rest the affairs of a deceased person. One of the most important parts of the process is the ability to file a probate claim. These claims allow creditors to attempt to collect on any debts that the deceased may have had. Illinois law establishes a strict hierarchy of these claims to determine which claims get paid out first.

The Claims Process

The claims process begins shortly after a person’s death. If the person has more than $100,000 in assets their family will have to open the probate process. This involves filing a will with the courts (if a will exists) and getting an executor appointed by the court. The executor will manage the administration of the will and is an important figure for creditors who want to file claims.

The law requires executors to publish a notice of probate in an appropriate newspaper to alert any potential creditors to the process. They must also send written notice to any creditors that the executor “knows or may reasonably ascertain.” Once a creditor receives notice of probate, they have six months within which to file a claim for payment from the estate. Any claims after this six month period will be barred by the court as long as the executor provided proper notice.

Once a creditor files a claim, the executor has three options: they may choose to pay it in full, they may attempt to settle, or they may refuse to pay. In the case of an executor who refuses to pay a claim, the creditor then has the option of litigating the claim in front of a judge to determine its validity.

Establishing Priority

Once the executor and the courts determine which claims are valid, they rely on the Illinois Probate Act of 1975 to determine what order the debts should be paid in. The Act divides claims into seven different classes, and pays them out in order. The seven classes are:

1.    Reasonable funeral and burial expenses

2.    Surviving spouse’s or child’s award. This is an award of enough money to the decedent’s spouse and children to keep them living in their usual lifestyle for nine months following the person’s death.

3.    Debts due to the United States

4.    Debts owed to employees, not to exceed $800, and debts dealing with the decedent’s last illness

5.    Money and property held in trust by the decedent

6.    Debts due to Illinois state and local government

7.    All other claims

If you need help navigating the probate process, contact an Illinois Estate Planning Attorney today. Our firm serves many different towns in the northwest suburbs including Palatine, Des Plaines, and Rolling Meadows.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

Who Takes Care of the Children after the Death of a Parent

Web Admin - Thursday, November 28, 2013

By: Jay A. Andrew


Determining who becomes guardian of a child in the unfortunate event that their parents pass away is an important decision. While parents have the right to make such decisions during their estate planning process, not everyone makes these preparations, and that leaves the decision of who raises the children up to the court. Illinois law guides the court as well as it can, providing general provisions for who qualifies to become a guardian in the Probate Act of 1975.

How the Judge Chooses a Guardian

Illinois law provides considerable freedom to judges in choosing who assumes guardianship of a minor, although the law does place some general restrictions on the court. The guardian chosen must be over 18, a resident of the United States, not convicted of a felony and of sound mind.

For most judges the question is decided by what is in the minor’s best interests of the minor child. The act often repeats that phrase, “the minor’s best interests,” stating that it should guide the judge’s decisions as to who assumes the role of guardian.

The procedure for the choice of guardian starts with the notification of interested persons, usually close family members, that the court will appoint a guardian. People may then petition the court to act as guardian for the minor, and the court will weigh the evidence and use its judgment to try to determine who can best raise the child. Minors over the age of 14 also have the option to nominate their own guardian, subject to review by the court. While these proceedings can often go smoothly and amicably, they can also be more acrimonious, depending on the family relationships involved.

If you are a parent and haven’t made provisions for guardianship of your children you should consider whether or not you want a judge that has never met you and barely met your child to make the determination of what is in their best interests.

Other complicating factors that an estate planning attorney can help you work through are disabled children, learning disabled children, how to keep all of the children together and how to manage combined families along with many other issues that are part of the modern family.

How to Avoid the Guardianship Proceedings

In order to avoid a drawn-out court battle, parents can take control of the situation. Illinois law gives parents the opportunity to name a guardian during their lifetime either in their will, or in a separate document. While the court still reviews this choice, the parents get much more control over their child’s future if they appoint a guardian. Rather than making the court guess at who would best raise the child, it can take the parents’ preferences into account, only overruling them if it finds “good cause” that the parents’ appointment would not be in the minor’s best interest.

If you are thinking about preparing a Will, or want to ensure the future security of your children, contact a Chicago estate planning lawyer today. We serve many northwest suburban areas including Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, and other nearby communities.

Recent Posts


real estate zoning civil rights violation Crystal Lake tax lawyer trucking accident lawyers Class A misdemeanor Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Barrington estate planning lawyer natural gas nursing home negligence expungement Des Plaines Chicago traffic lawyer Illinois Trust Code right to work senior citizens Crystal Lake employment lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney clemency Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Illinois lawyer Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois real estate Schaumburg insurance lawyers Palatine estate planning lawyer living wills landlord trench injuries Palatine corporate attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Barrington estate planning attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Schaumburg criminal law attorney traffic tickets Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, disability benefits privacy laws Illinois insurance claims lawyers traffic violations Illinois bicycle safety Arlington Heights Attorney manufacturing loopholes Illinois construction accident attorney sexual harassment real estate attorney underfunded trust Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers motorcycle accident lawyer Crystal Lake business law attorneys home inspection lawyer bicycle accidents Arlington Heights estate planning attorney employment attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Illinois workplace discrimination attorney rumble strips Fourth of July South Barrington real estate lawyer first degree murder unfunded trust Buffalo Grove real estate attorney severance agreements drug possession healthcare Illinois workers compensation attorney Exclusions insurance denials Illinois personal injury lawyer medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers real estate contract employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys commercial leasing underinsured motorist car collision unpaid assessment Illinois DUI attorney minimum wage Barrington criminal lawyer power of attorney for healthcare paid sick leave reckless homicide Palatine employment attorney workers compensation Illinois probate lawyer Illinois workers compensation lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 pet bites consent to a search ObamaCare pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Inverness civil lawyer Barrington employment attorney Employment Discrimination Law murder Palatine drug lawyer murder charges Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer insurance negligence elder law work unions auto accidents Deer Park personal injury lawyer taxes Palatine traffic accidents life insurance Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer driving Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Schaumburg personal injury attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer overtime pay Palatine real estate lawyer Crystal Lake injury attorney Deer Park accident attorney Illinois traffic laws traffic accidents insurance adjusters Illinois LLC creation unauthorized overtime Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Legal Info Buffalo Grove employment lawyer estate attorney rent to own real estate contracts workers comp crossover accidents insurance attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act jet ski accidents Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney truck collisions installment contracts defective products Inverness insurance attorney attorney fees Schaumburg wrongful death attorney slip and fall accidents ken apicella uninsured motorist license Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Illinois law Buffalo Grove law firm special needs trust boating accidents digital evidence Arlington Heights TBI attorney Illinois insurance lawyer involuntary manslaughter Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney DUI defense Barrington business law firm insurance agent negligence Illinois estate planning condo association South Barrington real estate attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer medical research Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer pizza emoji natural gas explosion Illinois civil litigation lawyer Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Arlington Heights lawyer foreclosure life insurance claims Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers blended families agent Illinois business lawyer power of attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer license revocation internet living trust Rolling Meadows employment attorney Jay Andrew Barrington boating accident attorney pay when paid contract cell phone tower data estate plan BAIID Detainer Actions Illinois business law atorneys operating agreements Schaumburg employment law attorneys deed transfer School Visitation Rights Act DMV independent contractor appealing an insurance claim insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys dog bites meal breaks Illinois personal injury workplace sexual harassment Fair Labor Standards Act wage theft loss of consortium employee rights real estate civil litigation attorney blood alcohol content Inverness corporate attorney real estate leasing Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Palatine corporate law attorneys traumatic brain injuries Chicago employment lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys tax attorney Illinois collections attorney Chicago employment attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer federal regulations for LLCs defective products lawyer traumatic brain injury anesthesia errors car crash Illinois estate planning law firm Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Des Plaines DUI attorney car accident lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney corporate law real estate lawyer traffic crimes Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Palatine construction attorney BUI underage DUI Crystal Lake car accident attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer pet law life insurance lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer breach of contract no contest clauses Rolling Meadows employment law attorney sole proprietorship Illinois employment lawyer advance healthcare directive marijuana crimes attorney Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Illinois boating accident lawyer Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Mt Prospect Attorney digital information medical malpractice Forcible Entry new real estate form Palatine probate lawyer vacation home cell phone criminal Long Grove real estate lawyer Illinois corporate lawyer Deer Park traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Barrington drug crime attorney guardianship attorney social media after death investment property Illinois car accident attorney texting and driving Kenilworth estate planning attorney college kids real estate closing Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights injury attorney Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Palatine civil litigation lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer surgical mistakes Barrington injury attorney in terrorem provision Illinois tax attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer denied insurance claims boating under the influence wrongful death digital assets Schaumburg corporate attorney suspended license construction contracts distracted driving accident victims spinal cord injury Palatine civil attorney Palatine trusts lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney changes to mortgage law Illinois trusts attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois Sales Representative Act personal injury accidents speeding Palatine punch death hands free device Schaumburg estate attorney FMLA insurance denial appeals institutional trustee Palatine law firm Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers landlord tenant law caregiver Rolling Meadows Palatine traffic lawyer Illinois Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Palatine criminal defense lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Do Not Resuscitate spinal cord injuries criminal defense Crystal Lake employment law attorney traffic offenses Rolling Meadows Attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys dynasty trusts marijuana product liability trucking accidents medication errors Arlington Heights traffic attorney bike accident IRA trust transfer Arlington Heights insurance attorney distracted driving accidents personal injury traffic deaths Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Palatine Attorney Barrington real estate lawyer Schaumburg Joliet general practice lawyers privacy Illinois real estate lawyer brain injury Chicago estate planning Chicago attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Chicago lawyer IRS Illinois red light cameras DUI Landlord Tenant Ordinance Des Plaines real estate lawyer Schaumburg civil litigation attorney cell phone accidents Inverness DUI lawyer homestead rights Deer Park criminal attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney insurance claim dispute attorney car accident lawyers Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney Schaumburg employment attorney Chicago insurance claim attorneys probate claims process Affordable Care Act Illinois Human Rights Act revenge porn gift taxes employment law, Illinois employment laws PTSD Arlington Heights employment attorney fiduciary rule POA Long Grove real estate attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer preventable medical errors Arlington Heights accident attorney car accident pedestrian-automobile accident Barrington personal injury lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney Illinois Smoke Detector Act employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Deer Park workers compensation lawyer personal injury attorney liability claims murder defense Illinois jet ski accident lawyer child safety startup company personal injury claims residential real estate Deer Park employment law attorney Chicago will attorney holiday statistics insurance claims Schaumburg traffic lawyer bicycle dooring accidents Thanksgiving wills and trusts license reinstatement motorcycle accident Illinois attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation employees Des Plaines real estate attorney Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer boating DUI Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer insurance disputes overtime violations Illinois personal injury lawyers estate planning business litigation hit and run accident Palatine employment lawyer small business drug crimes lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act estate planning lawyer Illinois employment law attorney Des Plaines collections attorney probate claims Palatine injury attorney Inverness real estate lawyer probate Illinois traffic attorneys Colin H. Gilbert caretaker rights medical malpractice claims Illinois estate planning attorney Barrington employment law firm irrevocable trust Illinois criminal defense attorney automated cars Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney insurance claim dispute Whistleblower Claims deadly crashes vacation home fines Deer Park DUI lawyer Inverness injury lawyer income distribution deducation DUI attorney Illinois mortgages capital gains tax Illinois personal injury attorney estate planning for college students Inverness probate lawyer DNR Long Grove estate planning Liquor Control Act personal injury lawyer Inverness real estate attorney DUI penalities dealing with problem employees Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney drunk driving Colin Gilbert drunk driving statistics estate planning trusts drug crimes Illinois small business Super Mario federal crimes Deer Park traffic accident attorney Des Plaines injury law firm workers compensation benefits personal injury law firm Palatine insurance lawyer personal injury claim Buffalo Grove corporate attorney IRA benefits BAC ACA Schaumburg probate attorney life insurance policy estate planning attorney Barrington employment law attorney creditors Illinois employment law attorneys Schaumburg injury lawyer Home Remodeling Repair Act living trust vs will compensatory time Illinois rollover accident lawyers insurance agents Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Illinois traffic attorney IRELA real estate attorneys bad faith insurance claims eluding a police officer employee misclassification comp time dram shop law Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers probate lawyer jet ski Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Illinois job attorney insurance claim denial Inverness elder law lawyer forming a corporation in Illinois Rolling Meadows traffic law firm mass shooting Illinois medical malpractice case fiduciary rule delay pedestrian accident Illinois wills and trusts Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Crystal Lake pet attorney Barrington attorney Illinois insurance attorney Illinois home inspection food poisoning CAM Mount Prospect elder law attorney hiring employees Inverness personal injury attorney rest breaks whistleblower protections living trust benefits Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Deer Park real estate law firm probate process commercial leases Family Medical Leave Act contracts drug crime controlled substance Chicago biking tips insurance claim denials license suspension financial advisors traffic laws employment lawyer Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois insurance disputes Des Plaines pet law attorney wills TBI pregnant women Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois employment law firm Illinois speeding lawyer healthcare claims job lawyers liens trusts Schaumburg Attorney pain and suffering Illinois medical malpractice claim icy parking lots Palatine personal injury lawyer trust payments Rolling Meadows business lawyer wrongful termination Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Palatine business attorney mortgage trustee accidental death benefits owner responsibility Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Crystal Lake law firm denied insurance claim filing a medical malpractice claim Schaumburg personal injury lawyer problem employees Inverness traffic law firm comparative negligence Palatine elder law attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney preventing accidents Illinois employment laws insurance claim delay construction accidents elder abuse breathalyzer test Des Plaines claims law firm Chicago insurance law firm drugs Illinois employee rights attorney. LLCs personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Illinois insurance dispute lawyers criminal law head on collisions Crystal Lake car accident lawyer insurance dispute attorney Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois pet lawyer modern family estate planning Arlington Heights tax lawyer Self-Directed IRA Accounts Kenilworth estate planning lawyer rollover accidents Attorney Ken Apicella Barrington medical malpractice lawyers FSLA Des Plaines civil attorney employee discrimination pedestrian accidents traffic violations defense Des Plaines criminal attorney Illinois employment law Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer golf accidents employment law Rolling Meadows insurance attorney fatal car accidents estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, commercial real estate Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Policy Cancellation products liability Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys medical marijuana texting while driving Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney foreclosed rental property Des Plaines drug lawyer slip and fall field sobriety test digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Barrington litigation attorney Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney DGAA Inverness accident lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Barrington Traffic Lawyer Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Illinois will lawyer Rolling Meadows tax attorney unpaid overtime Illinois employment attorneys health insurance dispute Home Sale Contingencies Transfer on Death Instrument employment contract probate fees Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Barrington civil litigation attorney fault based insurance subcontractor medical malpractice compensation low-ball insurance settlement Illinois injury lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm Illinois workplace lawyer liability Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers car crash injuries Chicago car accident lawyer premises liability Chicago corporate attorney Illinois defective products attorney criminal record Long Grove estate planning attorneys insurance dispute condo Illinois trucking safety Illinois medical malpractice attorney back injuries rollover car crashes insurance claim GM ignition switches Arlington Heights employment law attorneys civil litigation car crashes Illinois living will Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Schaumburg car accident attorney Crystal Lake accident attorney estate tax swimming pools denial of life insurance Crystal Lake will lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Illinois driving without license Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Illinois registered agent Chicago trucking accident attorney sexual images Illinois elder law attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney car accidents trauma after an accident