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


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