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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/18-7: Procedure on Hearing of Claims

When someone passes away, the job of the representative of the estate, also referred to as an estate representative or executor, is to settle the estate and distribute the assets. The Probate Court has jurisdiction over estate matters. As part of this process, in some instances claims are filed against the estate. The representative must defend the estate in such matters, and also must pay valid claims. To learn more about the rules associated with resolving claims against an estate, including the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 18-7- Procedure on hearing of claims, contact a skilled Chicago estate litigation attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Steps in Estate Administration

The main steps in estate administration include collecting assets, paying debts, and distributing assets.

Collecting assets. The representative must first identify the assets that are in the estate, determine their value, and secure the assets. This step is critical as the value you of the estate will impact the debt that can be paid and the distributions that can be made.

Paying debts. The representative must pay estate debts, settle claims, and pay expenses associates with the estate. Debts include bills that the decedent owed at the time of his or her death. A claim is a lawsuit brought against the estate based on a wrong that the decedent alleged committed that resulted in the claimant suffering some type of harm.

If the claim is based on a tort, then the claim would be that the decedent was in some way negligent and as a result the plaintiff’s person was harmed or property of the plaintiff was damaged. If the claim is a contract claim, then claimant’s case would be base on an allegation that the decedent breached a contract.

A third type of claim is called a statutory custodial claim. While contract and tort claims are based on common law, a statutory custodial claim is based on the Probate Act. The Probate Act provides that certain relatives of a deceased, disabled person would be entitled to a claim for a statutory sum of money for caring for the disabled relative for an extended period of time.

To learn more about the requirements for filing a claim against an estate, contact an experienced Chicago estate litigation attorney.

When the claim is called by the court, the possible outcomes are that the claim is allowed, set for trial, continued, or dismissed. If the estate administrator allows the claim, or if no pleading has been filed on the claim, the court can conclude that the claimant’s has been proved, or the court may required that the claimant prove his or her case. In addition, under Illinois Probate Act, section 18-7- Procedure on hearing of claims, if it appears at the hearing on a counterclaim filed in favor of the estate, that the claimant actually owes an amount to the estate, the court may enter judgment for the amount of the indebtedness.

The substantive law and procedural law related to filing and litigating a tort, contract, or statutory custodial claim are highly technical and require the expertise of a skilled estate litigation attorney in Chicago. The claim must include the proper information and must be timely filed. Otherwise, you may lose your case on a technicality.

Distributing assets. Once the debts are paid and claims resolved, the representative can move forward with the distribution of assets that are left in the estate.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Pleadings: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-5
  2. Jury trial: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/18-6
Illinois Probate Act, Section 18-7- Procedure on Hearing of Claims

(a) On the call of a claim it may be allowed, set for trial, continued or dismissed. A claim which is consented to by the representative or his attorney or to which no pleading has been filed within the time provided by this Act may be taken as proved or the court may require the claimant to prove his claim.
(b) If it appears at the hearing on a counterclaim filed in favor of the estate and against a claimant that he is indebted to the estate, after allowing him all just credits, deductions and set-offs, the court may enter judgment for the amount of the indebtedness.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If a loved one recently passed away and you have questions about claims against the estate, the experienced estate litigation attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. We have over 20 years of experience representing clients in matters related to settling estates, estate litigation, disputes with creditors, and understand the intricacies of Illinois estate law including the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 18-7- Procedure on hearing of claims. 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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