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


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