Probate is the last chance that creditors have to be paid back debts by the deceased person before the estate is permanently closed. It is the legal equivalent of “speak now or forever hold your piece.”
Illinois law provides that creditors have two years from the date of the decedent’s death to file a claim against the estate. However, the executor may shorten that by giving the creditor notice of the decedent’s death and probate process.
The executor will usually give this notice in two forms:
- Through a direct mailing to known creditors
- By posting a general notice in the newspaper (for three straight weeks)
Once the creditor receives notice, they have three months to file a claim against the estate. If they do not receive direct notice, they would then have six months to file a claim.
The creditor would file their claim along with proof of the debt. The executor must then decide whether to allow or disallow the claim. If the executor disallows the claim, the creditor would have the right to take their claim to probate court. If the case goes to court, there will be a relatively compact litigation schedule, with an initial hearing 30 days after the claim has been filed with the probate court.
However, there would still be a full trial, with each side being allowed to present evidence and call witnesses. Neither party is allowed to testify about conversations with the deceased person because there is no one who can confirm the validity of that testimony.
Contact a Lincolnshire Probate Litigation Attorney Today
The attorneys at Charles T. Newland & Associates represent executors in the probate process. We give you the advice that you need and defend you from claims. To speak with an experienced attorney, reach out to us online or call us at 847.797.9300.