Estate Settlement by Independent Administration
This is Dial-Law with information on streamlined procedures for
settling estates of Illinois residents by independent administration,
regardless of value. All of this information applies to Illinois law
only. If the deceased was not a resident of Illinois, we suggest that
you consult the local county bar association where he or she
Independent administration in Illinois permits the settlement of an
estate with less supervision from the court. It does not matter whether
the independent representative is an executor of a will or an
administrator of an intestate estate (that is, an estate where there is
no will). This procedure can save considerable time for the lawyer and
executor or administrator, so the expense of settling the estate may be
Independent administration must be permitted by the court unless it is
specifically prohibited by the will or unless an "interested person"
objects. An interested person is an heir, beneficiary, estate creditor,
or personal representative involved with the estate. At any time during
independent administration, an interested person may petition the court
for a hearing on any matter relating to the estate. The court also may
terminate independent administration in favor of supervised
administration for sufficient cause.
If it appears to the executor or administrator who is administering the
estate that there are sufficient assets to pay all taxes, claims and
expenses, distribution may be made to the person entitled to the
remainder of the estate at any time. However, distribution prior to the
end of the time during which creditors can file claims will require a
refunding bond from the beneficiaries. For that reason, usually
distributions will not be made before the expiration of the time during
which creditors may file claims against the estate, generally, six
months from the date the creditor receives notice.
After the estate has been fully administered, the executor or
administrator must file with the court a report certifying that (1) all
taxes, claims and expenses have been paid or provided for, (2) that all
statutory requirements have been compiled with, and (3) that all assets
have been distributed to the persons entitled to them. The report also
must state that the fees paid to the executor or administrator and/or
his attorney have been approved by all interested persons or by the
court. The report must be accompanied by a receipt from each received.
In the absence of any objections from an interested party, the estate
then will be closed and the executor or administrator discharged.