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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/23-1: Resignation

An executor is the person who is responsible for managing an estate through probate. While the testator may name his (or her) choice as to who should serve as executor, the executor does not have the legal authority to act as executor until the probate court judge formally appoints him. Similarly, if a decedent passed away without writing a will, the probate court judge will appoint an estate administrator to manage the estate. While most do, executors and administrators are not required to continue serving until the estate is closed. He has the right to resign if he so chooses. If you are an executor or administrator and are contemplating resigning, contact a Chicago probate administration lawyer who will listen to your concerns and explain the process of resigning.

Duties of Administrator or Executor

An estate administrator (or executor) is responsible for all activities related to winding up a decedent’s affairs and distributing the assets in his estate. The activities related to winding up an estate include:

  • Taking control of the assets in an estate. This involves finding and securing all estate assets. This may include locating real estate, find the deeds, securing it, paying mortgages, leases, and generally managing the real estate. He must also take control of bank account and other financial accounts. The administrator must also locate personal property such as jewelry, clothing, collectibles, and home furnishings. Because it is necessary for the administrator to determine the amount of assets available to wind up the affairs of the estate, the administrator may needs to hire a professional appraiser to determine the value of some of the estate assets.
  • Paying estate bills. As a Chicago probate administration lawyer will explain, the administrator is also required to pay all estate debts including the debts owed by the decedent at the time of his death as well as expenses related to the management of the estate. In addition, the administrator is required to file tax returns for both the decedent and the estate, and pay any taxes due. Because estate bills and expenses must be paid from estate assets, if the estate does not have sufficient liquid assets, the administrator may need to sell assets.
  • Settling disputes. On occasion disputes develop during estate administration. Such disputes may be challenges to the validity of the will, disagreement between beneficiaries, disagreements between the administrator and beneficiaries, or disputes between the estate and creditors. The administrator must manage these disputes and settle them. In some cases the administration may need the assistance of a probate administration attorney in Chicago to help resolve estate litigation. The administrator is required to defend the estate against claims and pay only valid claims.
  • Distributing Assets From the Estate. Once all bills are paid and claims settled, the administrator must distribute estate assets to the beneficiaries if there was a will, or to the decedent’s heirs.

Managing an estate can be a rigorous job. As a result an estate administrator or executor may find that he does not have the ability or desire to continue with the responsibilities. If the administrator wants to resign, he must file a petition and submit it to the probate court. No notice is necessary. Upon accepting the resignation of an administrator the court will revoke his letters of administration, legally ending his authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Related Statutory Provisions

  1. Removal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-2
  2. Procedure on removal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-3
  3. Letters revoked when will is produced: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 23-1- Resignation

Upon petition of a representative, the court may permit him to resign. The petition may be heard without notice or after giving notice to such persons and in such manner as the court directs. If the petitioner is permitted to resign the court shall revoke his letters.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are an estate administrator or executor and would like to resign, the Illinois Probate Act has a process for doing so. To ensure you follow proper procedure, contact an experienced probate administration attorney serving in Chicago. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the skill, knowledge and resources to help whether your estate matter is related to your own estate or a loved one’s. 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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