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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/12-12: Notice to Representative of Action on Bond - Answer

Administration is the term to describe the process of settling an estate. It involves the inventorying and appraising of the asset of the decedent’s estate, paying debts of the estate, and distributing estate's assets to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries. The process is managed by a representative who must be first appointed by the Chicago area Illinois Probate Court with jurisdiction over the estate. The term “representative” is a general term that can mean either an executor or an estate administrator. In addition to meeting the general qualifications for serving as a representative, the person seeking to be appointed must also meet the bond requirements before he or she will be given authorization to proceed with activities related to estate administration. If you are involved in the administration process of a loved one’s estate and have concerns related to the bond requirements, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 12-12- Notice to representative of action on bond - answer, contact an experienced Chicago Probate Court attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Bond

A bond is an insurance policy purchased by representatives to protect estates, beneficiaries, and heirs from their negligent or illegal acts. Illinois and other states require bonds because of the access representatives have to estate assets.

  • Controls estate assets. One of the main jobs of a representative is to take over the assets of the administrator, including taking control of the bank and investment accounts. He (or she) will also have the authority to open accounts in the name of the estate. In other words, the representative will have basically the same access and power over the decedent’s estate as the decedent did while alive. If the representative is careless in the manner in which he or she administers the estate, or if the representative decides to misappropriate property from the estate, the estate’s finances may suffer permanent damage.
  • Pay estate bills. The representative must pay bills owed by the decedent at the time of his death, as well as bills amassed by the estate during the administration process. Such bills may include utility and credit card bills owed by the decedent at the time of his death, fees associated with maintaining and securing estate assets during administration, and other bills associated with estate administration.
  • Distribution of assets. The representative is responsible for distributing the assets of the estate. If the decedent had a will, the assets go to the beneficiaries named in the will. As an experienced Chicago Probate Court lawyer will explain, if the decedent did not have a will, the assets go to the decedent’s next of kin as defined by Illinois’ rules on intestate succession. There are rules related to when assets can be distributed, and rules related to complications such as when there is a missing heir or a lapsed gift.

Because there are so many opportunities for the representative to purposely or negligently damage the estate, the law requires the representative to take out a bond. If the representative does something that causes a loss to the estate, the surety company will cover the losses suffered by the beneficiaries, heirs, or creditors.

Amount of Bond

There are statutory rules related to the amount of bond required. They are based on the value of the personal estate (not real estate) and the type of surety. A surety is the person or company that guarantees the bond and is responsible for losses to the estate due to the mistakes or malfeasance of the representative. A surety can be an individual or a company. Under Illinois law, if the surety is an individual, the amount of bond required will be more than if the surety is a company.

As an experienced Probate Court lawyer in Chicago will explain, while the amount of the bond that the court requires is set prior to when the representative begins administration, the judge can increase or decrease it based on circumstances that develop during the court of administration. While the court can decide to increase or decrease the amount of security on its own motion, if the representative, surety company, beneficiary, heir, or other interested party wishes that the court order a change in the amount of the bond, a petition must be filed. In addition, under Illinois Probate Act, section 12-12- Notice to representative of action on bond – answer, the representative must be given notice of any contemplated action of the court related to the bond and he or she has the right to file an answer.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. New or additional bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-13
  2. Bond on appeal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-14
  3. Suit on bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-15
Illinois Probate Act, Section 12-12- Notice to Representative of Action on Bond - Answer

Unless the representative is before the court in person or by his attorney, he is entitled to such reasonable notice of any contemplated action of the court to require sufficient bond or security or counter security or to release a surety on his bond as the court may provide and he may file an answer setting up any reasons he may have why the court should not take such action.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The bond requirement is there to protect the estate, beneficiaries, and heirs from damage caused by the negligence or malfeasance on the part of the representative. There are many rules related to the bond, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, 12-12- Notice to representative of action on bond - answer. If you have questions or concerns related to the bond requirement or any other requirements related to the appointment of a representative, it is important that you discuss your concerns with an experienced Probate Court attorney serving Chicago. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 20 years of experience representing clients in estate matters, including matters related to representative and details of administration. Contact an attorney in our office attorneys at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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