A Testate Probate is one in which the decedent died with a valid Will that was properly executed under Illinois law and designates beneficiaries of the estate and the personal representative called the Executor.
An Intestate Probate is one in which the person died without a valid Will. In that case, state law determines the Heirs, who will inherit the person’s assets. This can lead to unintentional and sometimes heartbreaking results depending on the family dynamics.
In intestate estates the personal representative is called the Administrator. Often times, family disputes can arise over who will be the Administrator because the deceased person did not appoint an Executor by Will. Additionally, an expensive Surety or insurance bond is required to be purchased in all Intestate estates and the premium must be paid on an annual basis until the estate is closed. The Surety Bond must be purchased to guarantee the performance of the Administrator, which could have been waived if the person had a Will providing a waiver of that requirement. The cost of the Surety Bond will depend on the value of the personal property and income being handled by the Administrator over the next 12 months.