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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/9-2: Issuance of Letters of Administration

“Letters of administration” is a document issued by the Probate Court giving the person the authority to act as administrator for the estate of an intestate decedent. Before having the legal the authority to act on behalf of the estate, a petition must be filed with the court requesting that the court appoint the administrator. If the court grants the request, he (or she)will be named the administrator and will be issued the letters of administration. If the administrator resigns or the court revokes his authority, the letters of administration will also be revoked. To learn more about the process related to the issuance of letters of administration, and to learn the responsibilities of an estate administrator, contact a Chicago estate administration lawyer who is familiar with the process for the appointment of an estate administrator and the issuance of letters of administration.

Issuance of Letters of Administration

According to the Illinois Probate Act, if someone dies intestate, then the Probate Court judge will appoint an estate administrator and issue that person letters of administration giving the administrator the legal right to move forward with the activities required to finalize the decedent’s estate and distribute the estate assets to his heirs.

Under the statute, there are preferences of who the court will appoint as administrator. The surviving spouse is given first preference, followed by someone the spouse nominates, followed by the beneficiaries.

Duties of an Estate Administrator

The job of an estate administrator is similar to the job of an executor during probate. The administrator is responsible for all activities related to settling the estate of an intestate decedent and ultimately distributing his assets to his heirs. Because the decedent failed to leave a will, the estate administrator must distribute his assets to his heirs based on the rules of intestate succession. Under these rules, the surviving spouse and descendents of the decedent are first in line to inherit. Next are the parents and siblings. As an estate administration attorney serving Chicago will explain, the Illinois Probate Act lists which relatives are entitled to inherit in the absence of a surviving spouse, descendants, parents, or siblings. If no relatives come forth, then the decedent’s property will eventually escheat to the county.

Resignation or Removal of Administrator

After appointment, if the administrator determines that he can no longer serve or choose not to serve, he can resign his position as administrator. However, there is a procedure that he must follow. The administrator must file a petition with the Probate Court. Common reasons for resigning include illness or family obligations. The administrator is not required to give the court notice. Once the court accepts the resignation of the administrator, the court will revoke his letters of administration.

Likewise, for good cause, the Probate Court can remove an administrator. Reasons for removing an administrator include the administrator being convicted of a felony, being mentally incapacitated, mismanaging estate assets, failing to follow a court order, avoiding service of process, or moving out of the country. Once the court removes the administrator, the court will revoke his letters of administration. To learn more about the reasons that an administrator can be removed and about the process, contact an experienced estate administrator attorney in Chicago.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Petition to admit will or to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-2
  2. Letters revoked when will is produced: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-3
  3. Petition to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/9-4
  4. Removal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-2
  5. Procedure on removal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-3
Illinois Probate Act, Section 9-2- Issuance of Letters of Administration

When a person dies intestate, letters of administration shall be issued in accordance with the preferences in Section 9-3 upon petition therefor, unless the issuance of letters is excused. If after letters are issued the sole administrator or all administrators die or resign or their letters are revoked, letters shall be issued in accordance with the preferences in Section 9-3.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are an interested party and would like to serve as the administrator of an estate, contact a skilled Chicago estate administration attorney who will explain to you the requirements of being appointed an administrator and the process for petitioning the court. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing beneficiaries, heirs, and executors on matters related to probate, will challenges, and estate litigation. 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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