Trust & Estate Administration

Trust and Estate Administration is the process by which assets are identified, collected and retitled, by a trustee or estate representative with or without the assistance of a probate attorney.   In the case of a trust, the assets of the trust are then administered according to the terms and provisions of the trust agreement or declaration.  Special issues may arise in the event of a missing trust agreement, or when there is ambiguity in the language of the trust agreement or declaration, resulting in the need for court intervention.  Contested trust issues are another common area of probate litigation.

In the case of a decedent’s estate, the representative, with the assistance of a probate attorney, must collect all assets, identify debts and liabilities of the decedent, pay or settle claims filed in the estate, account for the assets, and then make distribution pursuant to the will, or through the rules of descent and distribution if there is no will.

Common terms defined:

Intestate estate:  When a decedent dies without a will. 

Administrator of estate:  The court appointed representative of an intestate estate.

Testate estate:  A decedent who dies with a will leaves a testate estate.

Executor of estate:  The individual designed in the will, and formally appointed by the court, in a testate estate.

Useful information regarding the distribution of assets after death in Illinois

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For more information about Trust and Estate Administration

 See also General Duties of a Trustee

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