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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/24-20: Deposit of Unclaimed Money

One of the main jobs of a representative of an estate is to care for the property in an estate and eventually ensure that it is distributed to the person who is legally entitled to it. In the case of a decedent, the representative must distribute the property according to the terms of the decedent’s will, or based on Illinois’ rules of intestate succession. However, complications may develop during the administration process, such as a distributee being hard to find. A representative must make a reasonable effort to locate the distributee. If the representative still cannot find the person, then the representative must follow the procedures outlines in the Probate Act. If you have questions about the duties and responsibilities of a representative, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 24-20- Deposit of unclaimed money, contact a skilled Chicago estate attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who can help ensure that you understand the legal requirements of estate administration and asset distribution.

Responsibilities of a Representative

There is a wide range of duties that the estate administrator must handle. However, the three major responsibilities include: taking control of and managing the estate assets, paying estate debts and taxes, and distributing the estate assets to the decedent's heirs.

One of the first jobs of the representative is to collect and to take control over the decedent's assets that are part of the probate estate. Probate property includes all of your real property and personal property that the decedent owned. Such property may include bank accounts, investment accounts, a house, artwork, antiques, jewelry, and other personal property. The representative must also determine the value of the estate by appraising the property. The representative may be required to submit the inventory to the probate court. To ensure that such an inventory is properly prepared, contact an experienced Chicago estate attorney. During the process of administration, money and property may come into the estate. The representative must keep track of and account for all income into the estate.

One of the goals of estate administration is to make sure that the decedent’s creditors are paid. Thus, the job of the representative of the estate is to make sure bills the decedent owed at the time of his or her death are paid, and pay any bills accrued during the administration process. In addition, the administrator is responsible for filing the decedent's final tax return. If the decedent owes taxes, the administrator will pay them out of estate assets. If a refund is due, it will be added to the estate.

The last major step in the administration process is distributing the estate assets. If the decedent left a will, then the will contains instructions as to how the assets should be distributed. In the absence of a will, assets are to be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession.

Deposit of Unclaimed Money

As an experienced estate attorney in Chicago will explain, distribution of asset does not always go as planned. Complications sometimes develop such as a distributee being difficult to find. Under Illinois Probate Act, section 24-20- Deposit of unclaimed money if someone who is entitled to a distribution from a estate cannot be found, the representative can petition the court to sell the asset and deposit the net proceeds together with any other money of the estate belonging to the ward, distributee, or claimant with the county treasurer of the county in which the estate is being administered.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Duty to account: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-1
  2. Accounting to distributee: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-8
Illinois Probate Act, Section 24-20- Deposit of Unclaimed Money

When the receipt of a ward, a distributee of an estate, or a claimant cannot be obtained for money or any other asset of the estate, the representative by leave of court may sell the asset and deposit the net proceeds together with any other money of the estate belonging to the ward, distributee, or claimant with the county treasurer of the county in which the estate is being administered. The representative shall notify the county treasurer in writing of the identity of the persons entitled thereto and, if known, their last known post office address. The county treasurer shall give the representative a receipt therefor which shall be filed in the court. The person entitled to the money so deposited may obtain it, plus interest at a rate equal to the average interest rate on 3 month United States Treasury Bills issued during the time the money was on deposit, upon application to the court and satisfactory proof of his right thereto.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The skilled estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients in a wide range of estate matters, and understand the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 24-20- Deposit of unclaimed money. If you have questions or concerns related to the duties and responsibilities of an estate administrator or executor with respect to unclaimed estate assets, we can help locate the missing person as well as help file any petitions required to sell estate assets and deposit the proceeds with the county treasurer. 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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