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Types of Probate Estate Claims in Illinois

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Claims against an estate are not determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, different types of creditors have different levels of priority. The administrator of the estate is responsible for ensuring that each class gets paid out appropriately. Learn below about the different types of probate estate claims under Illinois law, and reach out to a knowledgeable Illinois trust & probate attorney for help administering an estate or executing a trust or will.

The Seven Classes of Probate Estate Claims

In Illinois, there are seven classes of probate estate claims. Higher-level creditors, separated by class, will be paid in full before lower level creditors get paid out. The classes depend on the nature of the debt and the nature of the creditor. If there’s nothing left by the time a certain class of creditor is reached, then that creditor gets nothing. For example, if the decedent owed money to his employees but also owed money in back taxes, there is a chance that whatever is left in the estate will go to one of those claimants, and there will be nothing left for the other.

In order of preference, the classes are as follows:

First Class Claims. First paid are funeral and burial expenses, expenses associated with the administration of the estate, as well as “statutory custodial claims” (meaning claims made pursuant to a statute by a live-in caregiver for the decedent).

Second Class Claims. Second, the decedent’s surviving spouse and children receive a statutory amount, meant to support the spouse and children for a period of nine months after the decedent’s death. The court will determine the amount but must issue a minimum of $10,000 for children and $20,000 for spouses, if available.

Third Class Claims. Any debts due to the United States.

Fourth Class Claims. Money owed to the decedent’s employees for services rendered within four months of the decedent’s death, capped at $800 per claimant. Expenses associated with the decedent’s illness are also fourth class.

Fifth Class Claims. Property and money held in trust by the decedent that has been mixed in with the decedent’s personal assets or wrongfully converted to the decedent’s personal use. Basically, this class includes money received by the decedent or held in trust by the decedent that cannot be identified or traced.

Sixth Class Claims. Debts to the state, county, local, or other municipal government.

Seventh Class Claims. Any other remaining claims.

Call For Help With an Illinois Probate or Trust Administration Matter

If you are facing issues regarding probate or the administration of a trust in Illinois, get serious and effective legal help by contacting the Chicago trust administration lawyers at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025 and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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