In Chicago, Illinois, my aunt left me, her power of attorney, which vanished when she passed away. To get the very small amount of money from Securion which is administering the account for the state of Illinois, they say I need a copy of the certified letters of administration for the estate. When I asked for details on the small estate affidavit, they said to contact the state...where I can find no data on this on the site they listed. Her will names me as executor, is this enough?
2 Answers from Attorneys
The Small Estate Affidavit can be used where the personal estate is under $100,000. The form can be found on the Secretary of State's website, as well as the websites of several of the local circuit court clerks. That said, unless the amount is extremely minimal, you would be best served working with an attorney to evaluate the circumstances, prepare the form and deal with the holder of the funds.
The small estate affidavit is available in the websites of several Illinois counties. It provides a way to dispose of an estate without having to go to probate. At a minimum, you will be expected to complete the form and furnish it along with a copy of the death certificate. If you have not already done so the original will is legally required to be filed with the clerk of the court in the county where the decedent resided on the date of her death. You don't need "letters of administration" for two reasons. First of all, these "letters" are the court order appointing the individual who will represent the estate. If you can use a small estate affidavit, you don't need letters. Furthermore, when there's a will naming an individual to serve as executor (the technical name for the person named in the will) the order is known as "letters of office." Fill out a small estate affidavit and work with the institution holding the funds. Sometimes they even have their own forms.