Probate (also known as estate administration) is the court-supervised process to properly pay debts and taxes and distribute the remaining assets of a deceased individual, who may or may not have signed a valid will. An executor (under the will) or administrator (where no will exists) is the court-appointed personal representative to handle the estate administration and report as needed to the court. A will should typically nominate an individual (or local bank or trust company) to serve as executor. If no will exists, then a family member (or local bank or trust company) will usually agree to serve. We represent executors and administrators who are faced with the serious task of properly probating an estate.
Guiding You Through the Probate Process Step-by-Step
The probate process is controlled by state law, and our Davenport and Rock Island attorneys have years of valuable experience successfully dealing with both Iowa and Illinois probate courts. A typical probate will include many steps, and an executor/administrator will need proper guidance throughout the process, including:
- Preparing necessary court filings to open the estate and appoint a personal representative
- Identifying and valuing assets and filing an inventory with the court
- Preparing the decedent’s final tax return and fiduciary tax returns
- Sending statutory notices
- Sale of real estate or businesses owned by the decedent, where sale is necessary or appropriate
- Preparing the Iowa inheritance tax return, Illinois estate tax return and federal estate tax returns
- Communicating with creditors and identifying valid claims
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
There are times when disputes arise between family members regarding the terms of a will or trust or the administration of an estate. We assist our clients with proper resolution of these disputes, including family settlement agreements.
Experienced Representation For Executors And Estate Administration/Probate Matters
At Schnell & Hancock, P.C., our lawyers understand the complexities and state-specific legalities involved with the probate process and estate administration. We work with our clients from the beginning of the probate process through its successful completion. With more than 40 years of combined experience, we know how to efficiently guide executors through the probate courts in both Iowa and Illinois.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help Administering a Loved One’s Estate
For experienced guidance on probate and estate administration in Iowa and Illinois that will serve your needs, turn to the attorneys of Schnell & Hancock, P.C. To schedule an initial consultation, call 563-359-7112 or contact us online.