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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/12-1: Corporate Representative - Acceptance of Office

Under section 1-2.15 of the Illinois Probate Act, a “representative" includes an executor, administrator, or an administrator to collect. In other words, a representative is the person who is responsible for managing the estate of someone who has passed away and ultimately distributing the assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs. If the decedent left a will, the representative is typically the person nominated by the decedent in his (or her) will to serve as executor. In the case of a person who passes away without having created a will, the representative is called an estate administrator. The representative can be an individual such as a family member, or a corporation. Regardless, the Illinois Probate Court must formally appoint the representative and issue the person or corporation letters of administration. If you have questions about the appointment of a corporation to serve as representative, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act section 12-1- Corporate representative - acceptance of office, contact a Chicago estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Appointment

Anyone who wishes to be named representative must file a petition with the Probate Court. Even if the decedent’s will names the executor, the named executor must file a petition. If the petitioner is eligible and qualified, then the court will issue an order appointing the representative and issue the representative a document called “letters.” In some cased the court will require the representative to post a bond. However, under the Illinois Probate Act, section 12-1- Corporate representative - acceptance of office, bonds are not required of corporations qualified to administer trusts in this Illinois. In addition, before beginning to perform the duties of administration, a corporate representative must file with the Probate Court and an acceptance of office.

Duties of the Representative

Whether the representative is an individual or corporation, the general responsibilities of a representative are the same.

  • Take control of estate probate assets. The representative must identify the assets that are part of the probate estate and take control of them. Estate assets may include real estate such as the decedent’s house or co-op, as well as vacation property. It also may include financial assets such as bank, investment accounts, and cash. Estate property will include personal property such as clothing, jewelry, collectibles, vehicles, and home furnishings. As a Chicago estate administration attorney will explain, not all property owned by the decedent is probate property subject to the estate administration process. Some assets such as retirement plans, life insurance, trust property, and IRAs are not part of the probate estate and will pass to beneficiaries outside of the estate administration process. Once estate assets are identified, they must be appraised. The Probate Act allows the representative to hire a professional appraiser, if necessary, and pay him or her reasonable fee from estate assets. The representative must filed a inventory of the estate property with the Probate Court. If you have questions about collecting, securing, appraising, or filing an inventory with the court, discuss your concerns with an experienced estate administration attorney serving Chicago.
  • Pay estate debts. Estate administration also involves paying debts owed by the estate. The representative must pay estate debts before assets can be distributed. Thus, the amount of money and value of property available in an estate to distribute to beneficiaries depends on the value of the property after bills and expenses are paid. The representative is required to pay creditors as well as expenses related to estate administration out of estate assets. Furthermore, the representative must also pay taxes owed by the decedent or by the estate. If the estate is involved in litigation such filing a claim against someone or defending the estate against a claim, the related expenses are typically paid out of estate assets.
  • Distributing estate assets. Once estate bills are paid, the representative must distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the will according to the terms of the will Typically that involves handing over personal property to beneficiaries, are transferring title of assets to the appropriate beneficiary. If the decedent did not leave a will, then estate assets are to be distributed to the decedent’s heirs based on Illinois’ intestacy rules.
Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Individual representative; oath and bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-2
  2. Surety: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-3
  3. When security excused or specified: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-4
  4. Amount of bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-5
Illinois Probate Act, Section 12-1- Corporate Representative - Acceptance of Office

The bonds provided for in this Act, except appeal bonds, are not required of corporations qualified to administer trusts in this State. Before entering upon the performance of its duties, a corporate representative shall file in the court an acceptance of office.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Whether the representative is an individual or a corporation, there are rules related to qualifications. There are also procedures that must be followed in order to be legally appointed representative. In some cases a bond is required, while in other cases no bond is required. If you have questions related to the appointment of a corporate representative, including question related to the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 12-1- Corporate representative - acceptance of office, immediately contact an experienced estate administration attorney serving Chicago to discuss your concerns. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in estate matters in the Illinois Probate Court. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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