Estate Administration

When safeguarding your legacy and ensuring your loved ones are well taken care of after you’re gone, the right Estate Administration Lawyer is your biggest ally. Here at Woods & Bates, P.C., we take a hands-on, personalized approach to help you develop a strategy that reflects your unique needs and aspirations. We understand that the intricacies of Illinois estate law can be overwhelming, and that’s why we are committed to guiding you through the process with a touch of empathy and efficiency. From gathering assets and paying debts to distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries, we work closely with you to ensure a seamless and transparent process.


Your Guide Through the Estate Administration Process in Illinois

Embarking on the estate administration journey doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle. It can be a straightforward and empowering process as you take decisive steps to secure your family’s future.

At Woods & Bates, P.C., we take the time to understand your unique situation and guide you through a process that includes the following: 

  1. Gathering Assets: Identify and collect all assets owned by the deceased, secure assets such as real estate, personal property, and financial accounts, obtain appraisals for real estate and valuable personal property, and create a detailed inventory of all assets for estate records and tax purposes.
  2. Paying Debts and Taxes: Identify and notify creditors of the deceased’s passing, review and pay valid debts owed by the estate, file the final income tax return for the deceased, and determine if estate taxes or inheritance taxes are owed and ensure they are paid on time.
  3. Distributing Remaining Assets to Beneficiaries: Review the decedent’s will or trust documents to understand their wishes, work with an attorney to interpret any complex provisions or resolve any ambiguities, obtain any necessary court approvals for asset distribution, distribute assets to beneficiaries as per the decedent’s wishes or, if there is no will, according to state intestacy laws, prepare and file final accounting with the court, if required and close the estate once all debts, taxes, and distributions have been handled.


Choosing the Right Estate Administration Lawyer in Illinois

Finding the right Estate Administration Lawyer is crucial to ensure your wishes are honored and your family is cared for. Here at Woods & Bates, P.C., we pride ourselves on being the preeminent rural law firm in central Illinois. With decades of experience assisting business owners and high-net-worth individuals with asset collection, protection, and succession, our attorneys are well-equipped to guide you through the complexities of the estate administration process. We take a holistic approach, formulating a plan based on your unique circumstances to give you peace of mind, knowing your legacy is in good hands.


Understanding Estate Taxes in Illinois

Taxes are an inevitable part of the estate administration process, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a source of stress. At Woods & Bates, P.C., our skilled attorneys will help you understand the potential tax implications of your estate and develop strategies to minimize the tax burden on your estate and beneficiaries. Here’s a breakdown to help you know the basics:

  1. Illinois Estate Tax Rate and Exemption: Illinois has its estate tax, separate from the federal one; for 2023, the estate tax exemption is $4 million; if the estate’s value is below $4 million, no Illinois estate tax is owed. 
  2. Federal Estate Tax: The federal estate tax exemption for 2023 is $12.92 million per individual. Its rate ranges from 18% to 40% for estates above the exemption amount.
  3. Estate Tax Return Filing: If an estate tax return is required, it must be filed within nine months of the decedent’s death. The Illinois estate tax return (Form 700) must be filed if the gross estate, plus adjusted taxable gifts, exceeds the $4 million exemption.
  4. Gift Tax: Illinois does not have a gift tax, but the federal gift tax exemption for 2023 is $17,000 per recipient. Gifts above this amount must be reported to the IRS using Form 709, and they count towards the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption.
  5. Avoiding Estate Tax: There are various strategies to minimize or avoid estate tax, such as gifting, trusts, and charitable donations. Consulting with an estate planning attorney is recommended to understand the best options for your situation.


Taking the Next Steps with Woods & Bates, P.C.

Embarking on the estate administration process can be a simple task. At Woods & Bates, P.C., we’re here to guide you through every step, turning a potentially stressful process into a journey of security and peace of mind. If you’re ready to take the next step in securing your legacy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call us at Woods & Bates, P.C., to speak with a lawyer in Illinois at 217.735.1234, or contact us online to schedule a consultation to help guide you through your probate, estate planning, trust, or real estate matter.