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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/24-15: Stating an Account

When someone passes away, an administrator is appointed by the Illinois Probate Court to manage the activities necessary to settle the decedent’s estate and transfer ownership of the property in the estate to the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries. There are a variety of activities that the administrator must perform, most of which involve managing the property in the estate. There are safeguards in place to protect estates from poor management decisions and misdeeds by administrators. One such safeguard is requiring administrators to submit accountings to the Probate Court detailing their activities with respect to probate property. While an accounting is typically required at the end of the administration process, it is also required when a representative passes away or when a representative is adjudicated to be under a legal disability. If you have an interest in the administration of an estate where the representative is no longer capable of performing his or her duties, it is important that you understand the what is required, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 24-15- Stating an account. Contact a skilled Chicago estate administration attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who has the experience and resources to guide you through the process.

Becoming an Estate Administrator

In order to become the estate administrator, it takes more than being named in a will or being the “next of kin” to the decedent. Illinois law has specific requirements. For example, you must be at least 18 years old and a United States resident. In addition, you must not suffer from a mental incapacity or have been determined to suffer from a disability as defined in the Probate Act. If you have been convicted of a felony you may not act as an administrator.

If you would like to serve as administrator of a loved one’s estate, you must file a petition with the Probate Court. While the person named executor in a will and the next of kin in the absence of a will typically receive priority consideration, anyone desiring to be an administrator must petition the court. Only after a petition is approved by the court and letters issued will the petitioner have the legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate. To learn more about the process for petitioning the Probate Court to be appointed an administrator, contact an estate administration lawyer in Chicago.

Disqualifying Factors

After a person has been appointed administrator by the Probate Court, the court has the right to revoke the administrator’s authority if circumstances change, or if the administrator does something that would disqualify him or her from being an administrator. Events that would cause the court to revoke the authority of an administrator include accepting the estate administrator position under false pretenses, mental incapacity, committing a felony, mismanagement or wasting of estate assets, failing to follow order of the court, not being capable of fulfilling the responsibilities, no longer being a resident of the United States, or any other good cause for removal. As an experienced Chicago estate administration lawyer will explain, any interested party such as a beneficiary or other fiduciary has the right to petition the court to remove an administrator.


In cases where an administrator is disqualified after he or she has performed some activities related to managing an estate, an accounting must still be filed. The accounting must give details regarding the inventory of the estate asset, income to the estate, disbursements from the estate, and distributions from the estate.

There are specific rules related to filing of an accounting for a deceased administrator or an administrator who is under legal disability. Under Illinois Probate Act, a person is under legal disability if:

  • He or she has a mental deterioration or physical incapacity such that he or she is not fully able to manage his person or estate
  • He or she has a mental illness or a developmental disability such that he or she is not fully able to manage his person or estate
  • Because of gambling, idleness, debauchery or excessive use of intoxicants or drugs, he or she spends or wastes his estate and causes his family to suffer

If a representative dies or is determined to have a legal disability, the person or company that is the surety on his (or her) bond, his representative, or any of his heirs or beneficiaries may present an account in his behalf. In addition, under Illinois Probate Act, section 24-15- Stating an account, if the an account of a deceased representative or a representative who has been adjudged to be under a disability is not presented to the court within 60 days after the death or adjudication, the probate court may state an account on behalf of the representative. When entered of record the account is binding and conclusive against the representative and the surety on his bond.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Accounting by surety on bond of representative: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-14
  2. Citation - attachment: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-16
  3. Devastavit: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-17
  4. Liability for mismanagement: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-18
Illinois Probate Act, Section 24-15- Stating an Account

The court may state an account on behalf of a representative who dies or is adjudged to be a person under legal disability and on whose behalf an account is not presented to the court within 60 days after the death or adjudication or who fails or refuses to present an account as required by law. When entered of record the account is binding and conclusive against the representative and the surety on his bond.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The skilled estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 2 decades of experience representing clients in a wide range of estate matters, and understand the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 24-15- Stating an account. If you have questions or concerns related to the requirement of a representative to file an accounting with the Probate Court, or any other matter related to estate administration, contact a skilled 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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