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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/18-1: Filing of Claims - Mailing or Delivery of Copies

While many believe that the primary purpose of the estate administration process is to divvy up a decedent’s estate among his (or her) loved ones, in reality estate administration rules have a second goal that is equally if not more important. This second goal is ensuring that all of the debts that the testator left behind are paid, that all claims are settled, and that all of the expenses associated with estate administration are paid. To learn more about the rules associated with estate administration, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 18-1- Filing of claims - mailing or delivery of copies, contact a skilled Chicago estate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who can explain the nuances of the Illinois Probate Act.

Estate Administration Process

Estate administration is initiated when someone approaches the Probate Court that has jurisdiction over the decedent, and petitions the court to open the decedent’s estate. The process is slightly different depending on whether or not the decedent was testate or not. If the decedent was testate, meaning that he or she left a will, typically it is the person nominated in the will as executor who submits the will to the court along with request that the court issue him letters testamentary. Letters are a document that the court issues when it grants a petition to be appointed a representative of an estate such as an executor. If the decedent did not leave a will, then any person who is eligible to serve as estate administrator can petition the court to be appointed. According to Illinois Probate Act, section 9-3- Persons entitled to preference in obtaining letters, the person with the top priority in being granted letters is the decedent’s surviving spouse, or the person nominated by the surviving spouse. After that the priorities include beneficiaries and relatives. For more details about the qualifications for serving as executor or estate administrator, contact an experienced Chicago estate administration lawyer.

After the administrator has been appointed, the steps that he must complete or oversee include inventorying assets that are part of the probate estate, pay estate debts and expenses, and distribute assets to the beneficiaries or heirs.

Paying Debts

The administrator must pay all debts an claims against the estate that are valid and timely filed. Common types of debts include bills that were outstanding at the time of the decedent’s death such as personal loan, car loan, credit card bills, student loans, tax debt, and medical bills. Expenses include the bills associated with administration of the estate such as court costs, publication fees, appraisal fees, and attorney fees.

A claim is a lawsuit filed against the estate of the decedent. It can based in contract such as a breach of contract lawsuit, or it can be a tort claim such as a personal injury case. In addition, the claim could be a statutory custodial claim. A statutory custodial claim is a claim by a spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of a person with a disability who cared for the person with a disability for at least 3 years. Such a person is entitled to a claim against the estate after the person with the disability dies. In any case, the claim must be in writing and must be timely filed. For information about the details that need to be included in the claim, contact an experienced estate administration attorney in Chicago.

Filing of Claims

Under Illinois Probate Act, section 18-1- Filing of claims - mailing or delivery of copies, plaintiffs with claims against the decedent can file them either with the administrator, with the court, or with both. If the claimant files the claim with the court, within 10 days the claimant must mail or deliver a copy to the administrator. The claimant must also file with the court proof of delivering the claim to the administrator.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Statutory custodial claim: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-1.1
  2. Claim form: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-2
  3. Notice - Publication: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-3
  4. Claims not due: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 18-1- Filing of Claims - Mailing or Delivery of Copies

(a) A claim against the estate of a decedent or ward, whether based on contract, tort, statutory custodial claim or otherwise, may be filed with the representative or the court or both. When a claim is filed with the representative but not with the court, the representative may file the claim with the court but has no duty to do so.

(b) Within 10 days after a claimant files his claim with the court, the claimant (1) shall cause a copy of the claim to be mailed or delivered to each representative to whom letters of office have been issued and not revoked, including the guardian of the person of a ward and to the representative's attorney of record, unless the representative or the attorney has in writing either consented to allowance of the claim or waived mailing or delivery of a copy, and (2) shall file with the court proof of any required mailing or delivery of copies. Failure to mail or deliver copies of the claim or to file proof thereof does not affect the validity of the claim filing under subsection 18-1(a).

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Whether you have a claim against an estate or you are an administrator or beneficiary of an estate against which a claim has been filed, the experienced estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. We have decades of experience representing clients in matters related to settling estates and understand the nuances of Illinois estate law including the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 18-1- Filing of claims - mailing or delivery of copies. Contact an attorney in our office at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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