What is Probate? 

When a loved one passes away, someone must manage and distribute the estate. A well-executed estate plan helps to simplify the distribution process. 

When an estate plan is not in place via a will or trust, or the plan drafted does not take measures to avoid probate, the estate may have to go through the court-managed process of probate.

When Is Probate Required in Illinois?

There are a few circumstances in which probate is required in Illinois, including:

  • If the assets exceed $100,000
  • If the assets contain real estate
  • If letters of office (one-page certified documents issued by a probate court) have been issued
  • If the decedent's family believes someone will contest the will or there will be an heirship dispute

At Russo Law Offices, our Hinsdale probate lawyer assist clients with drafting detailed estate plans that help avoid the probate process. We also help clients who do not want a living trust, but who know that a well-drafted will is essential to a smooth probate process. In addition, our attorneys work with clients who are navigating the probate process.

To learn more about asset distribution and probate in Illinois, contact our Hinsdale estate planning attorneys today at (630) 608-6697.

Strategies to Bypass Probate in Illinois

In Illinois you can do the following to avoid the probate process if you: 

  • Create a revocable living trust
  • Set up payable-on-death accounts
  • Create a joint ownership
  • Ensure that proper beneficiaries are named

What Is the Probate Administration Process?

A probate proceeding is initiated in the decedent's county of residence. The court will oversee independent administration or supervised administration depending on the complexities of the case.

The steps of the process typically involve:

  • Filing a petition with the probate court
  • Sending notice to heirs and the public
  • Appointing an executor or administrator
  • Preparing an inventory of the estate
  • Administering claims of creditors
  • Selling assets
  • Filing and paying of taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

How Long Does Probate Take in Illinois?

Generally, the Illinois probate process will last between 6 and 12 months. However, it can certainly last much longer depending on various factors. The probate process will take at least six months because that is the time allotted to creditors to make any claims against the estate.

Why Would You Need a Probate Attorney in Illinois?

A probate attorney in Illinois can provide assistance in handling the legal aspects of estate administration and will help to ensure that the decedent’s wishes are followed. 

The probate attorney can help:

  • Prepare all the necessary documents, including petitions for formal probate proceedings, document filings, inventory of assets, accounts and assessments, and representation in court proceedings. 
  • Ensure that all debts are paid and assets distributed according to the terms of the will or other directives provided by the decedent.
  • Provide advice on issues such as tax planning and liabilities arising from inheritance.
  • Resolve disputes over the estate, or to defend a will that is being contested.

When dealing with matters related to a deceased person’s estate, it is important to have an experienced probate attorney who can provide legal advice and representation. By engaging the services of a probate attorney in Illinois, you can be sure that your loved one’s wishes are followed and their estate is handled in accordance with the law. 

Illinois Probate FAQ: Your Questions Answered

Costs Associated with Probate in Illinois

On average, if it is a straightforward case, probate costs will range between $4,000-$6,000. The probate law in Illinois dictates that the costs of probate will be paid for by the estate.

Legal Requirements for Drafting a Will in Illinois

Here are the following requirements for writing a will in Illinois:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be of sound mind with the mental capacity to understand the consequences of the will being created
  • Must sign the will with two witnesses present; the two witnesses must also sign the will

Choose Russo Law Offices for Trusted Estate Administration

The lawyers at Russo Law Offices work with heirs, beneficiaries, executors, and trustees to solve and complete estate administration. We also work with individuals who wish to create an estate plan and take measures to avoid probate when possible. 

If you need a probate lawyer or have any questions regarding estate planning, our Hinsdale probate attorneys can help. Located in Hinsdale, Illinois, we serve clients throughout the Chicago area including Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties. 

We know you are busy, so we work hard to make your interaction as convenient as possible. Have additional questions? Visit our FAQ page.

Ready to Discuss Your Estate? Contact Russo Law Offices Now at (630) 608-6697 to set up an appointment. We are available evening and weekend hours upon request.

  • “My experience with Russo Law Offices, LLC was exceptionally supportive. Attorney Allyson B. Russo assisted me with legal advice that made clear the legalities of my parent's property and how I needed to respond to a related summons.” - Caprice W.
  • “Allyson is very knowledgeable about estate matters and shares her experience in a clear and forthright manner. She was very pleasant and patient with our questions and prompt with written and oral responses.” - Rita H.
  • “We enjoyed working with Russo Law Offices for our estate planning. They took their time to explain the details of this process and walk us through all of the steps. They helped us navigate this journey even during the pandemic.” - Mark M.

efficient & effective
solutions you can trust

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy