It is never anyone's favorite subject, but smart people with any considerable estate should plan for the end of life. When a person's property and assets pass to the control of survivors and designated parties, there are many complications to consider.
Estate planning is especially important for people with an estate that is valued about $4 million, as the state of Illinois applies a tax to the excess value. In addition, federal law applied an estate tax if a person's property and other assets are higher than $5.49 million.
The designated representative of an estate is required to file a full inventory of all parts of the estate with the Illinois probate court with jurisdiction over it within 60 days of the issuance of the letter that designates the representative.
If any new property or asset comes into the representative's knowledge, that must be reported within 60 days of learning about it.
This inventory must include all property and improvements that may change its value. It should also list any liens, mortgages or other notes that may negatively affect the value.
Appraisal is an option if the representative finds it necessary, and property may be appraised by a reputable appraiser with no vested interest in the estate.
There are many other issues that may arise during the planning and execution of a will or other legal form of discharging an estate. An experienced estate administration lawyer can help ensure that the representative is maintaining the maximum value of the estate as it passes through probate and on to the decedent's heirs.
Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Statutes Chapter 755: Estates," accessed Dec. 29, 2017