Ask Terry Questions Probate in Illinois

Probate in Illinois

By Terry Savage on August 24, 2018 | Wild Card

I am the sole beneficiary and executor of my deceased Aunt’s estate. My attorney says it must go through probate for 7-9 months. She has no children or siblings. I am also her godchild. She owns her home, no credit cards, no debt. I don’t understand. Why the probate?

Terry Says

Probate is the court-supervised process of changing title and discharging obligations of the deceased. In the case of your aunt, she owned a home in her own name. Probate would have been avoided if she had created a revocable living trust, and re-titled the house in the name of the living trust. Then you would have automatically, as successor or named beneficiary in her trust, been allowed to take the house and sell it, or move into it. Now it sits in limbo through the probate process — and any assets she had must be used to pay the taxes, upkeep etc. I cannot stress how important it is to create a Revocable Living Trust instead of a will — and to CHANGE THE TITLE OF YOUR PROPERTY INTO THE NAME OF YOUR LIVING TRUST!!



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