Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/6-13: Who may act as Executor
An executor is the person who has the job of managing the affairs of a decedent during probate and distributing his (or her) assets to his beneficiaries. Typically the decedent names the person who he wants to serve as his executor in his will. However, regardless of who the executor names in his will, Illinois law requires that an executor meeting specific requirements. If you have questions about whether or not an individual meets the qualifications for serving as an executor of the estate off a loved one, contact a Chicago probate administration lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who understands who may act as executor as well as the process for appointing an executor.Who may act as Executor
According to Section 6-13 of the Illinois Probate Act, there are 4 requirements to serve as executor:
- You must be 18 years old or older
- You must live in the United States
- You must not be mentally incapacitated
- You must not suffer from a disability as defined in the Probate Act
- You must not be a convicted felon
It is important to understand that just because you were named in a loved one’s will as the person who he wants to serve as executor does not mean that the Probate Court will allow you to. You still must meet the statutory standard as to who may act as executor. If you have concerns as to whether or not you or someone else meets the requirements to act as executor, discuss your concerns with a probate administration lawyer in Chicago.Duties of an Executor
The executor is responsible for all activities necessary to finalize the decedent’s affairs and distribute assets to beneficiaries. The major activities include identifying and securing all property in the estate, inventorying it and managing it. The executor must pay all estate bills, including any debts owed by the decedent. Such bills must be paid from estate assets. If there are claims against the estate, the executor must settle them and pay the valid ones. Finally, the executor must distribute assets to the beneficiaries based on the terms of the will.Removal and Resignation
According to the Illinois Probate Act, the Probate Court has the right to remove an executor if he no longer is qualified. Reasons that an execute may no longer be qualified include being convicted of a felony, leaving the United States, mismanaging estate property, endangering another administrator, or failing to follow a court order. The court may initiate proceedings to remove an executor, or an interested party has the right to petition the court to remove an executor. The executor will be given the opportunity to show cause why he should not be removed.
An executor can resign his position as executor. In order to do so the executor must submit a petition to the Chicago area Probate Court with jurisdiction over the matter. The executor would be relieved of his position only after the Probate Court judge approves the petition.
Once an executor is removed or resigns, his letters will be revoked and he will no longer have authority to act on behalf of the estate. However, all actions taken by the executor that are consistent with the law remain valid. The former executor will be required to submit to the court a detailed accounting of all activities that he completed for the estate including all money and property that left the estate, all money and property that came into the estate, and any distributions made to beneficiaries. To learn more about what must be included in the accounting, contact a skilled probate administration attorney serving Chicago.Related Statutory Provisions
- Petition to admit will or to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-2
- Letters revoked when will is produced: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-3
- Who may act as administrator: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/9-1
- Petition to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/9-4
(a) A person who has attained the age of 18 years and is a resident of the United States, is not of unsound mind, is not an adjudged person with a disability as defined in this Act and has not been convicted of a felony, is qualified to act as executor.
(b) If a person named as executor in a will is not qualified to act at the time of admission of the will to probate but thereafter becomes qualified and files a petition for the issuance of letters, takes oath and gives bond as executor, the court may issue letters testamentary to him as co-executor with the executor who has qualified or if no executor has qualified the court may issue letters testamentary to him and revoke the letters of administration with the will annexed.
The court may in its discretion require a nonresident executor to furnish a bond in such amount and with such surety as the court determines notwithstanding any contrary provision of the will.
Generally, in his will the testator nominates a trusted individual to serve as his executor. However, it is important to understand the qualifications for serving as an executor and the responsibilities of the role. If you feel that the executor of the estate of a loved one is not qualified to serve, immediately contact an experienced Chicago probate administration lawyer to discuss your concerns. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in estate matters in the Illinois Probate Court. Contact an attorney in out office attorneys at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.