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Cook County Probate Attorneys | Estate Lawyers, Cook County, IL

When you're navigating the loss of a loved one, our Cook County estate planning lawyer and probate attorneys provide support to ease the process of estate administration, aiming for a swift and seamless resolution.
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Smiling womanAttorney Kevin O'Flaherty

"Kevin was extremely professional, responsive and knowledgeable when I came to him for help. I would definitely recommend O'Flaherty Law!"

Top 3 Qualities to look for in Your Attorney

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We believe your attorney should not speak in legalese

Finding an attorney who is a “real person” can be difficult. Many attorneys surround themselves almost exclusively with other attorneys and are accustomed to speaking in ivory tower legalese.  You should be able to connect with your attorney on a personal level, and he or she should speak to you in plain language that you can understand.  You will be working very closely with this person on issues that are very important to you. It is important that he or she be down-to-earth and someone that you connect with.

We believe your attorney should be accessible

The most common complaint that clients have of their attorneys is that the attorney is unreachable, does not communicate with them regularly, or does not promptly return your calls.  Your attorney should reach out to you about your case regularly and respond within 24 hours to calls and e-mails.  An open line of communication between you and your attorney is essential to building trust.

Learn how we service your area through our Remote Location Approach.

We believe your attorney should be realistic with you about costs and outcomes

Your attorney’s goal should not be to win at all costs.  Rather, it should be to achieve a favorable outcome for you as efficiently as possible.  It is important that your attorney set realistic expectations at the outset as to the costs you should expect, the concerns that the attorney has about the outcome of your case, and the length of time that you should expect your case to take.

Regardless of the nature of your case, we have an experienced attorney who will focus on your individual needs. Our team of attorneys works closely together, bringing each of their different fields of experience to bear in order to optimize our client care.

Client Testimonials

Christi M.

Kevin's firm handled setting up my will and trust recently. They took something that seemed intimidating and made it easy to understand. I've also referred a couple clients to Kevin - he's trustworthy, approachable and very fairly priced.


"I've used Kevin and his firm's services since 2011. He gave undivided attention to my cases, advised me on different options and..."

Rachel B.

"Kevin was extremely professional, responsive and knowledgeable when I came to him for help. I would definitely recommend O'Flaherty Law!"

About Cook County Probate Attorneys:

Your Peace of Mind is Our Priority

In Cook County, finding a compassionate probate attorney who understands the challenges you face during estate administration is crucial. We're here to shoulder the responsibility, ensuring the probate process is handled with care and efficiency. Our focus is on minimizing stress and maximizing support for you and your family during this difficult time.

Affordable and Efficient Legal Assistance

Our Cook County probate lawyers are known for their efficient handling of estate matters, ensuring costs are kept reasonable without compromising on the quality of service. You deserve a probate process that is as smooth and cost-effective as possible, and that's what we strive to provide. We're committed to offering you the right help at the right price, making the probate journey less burdensome.

A Team Approach to Probate

The probate process in Cook County can intersect with various areas of law, including real estate, family law, and business law. Our probate attorneys work collaboratively, pooling their diverse legal knowledge to benefit you. This team-oriented approach ensures you receive comprehensive guidance, covering all bases of the probate process. With our Cook County probate lawyer by your side, you're supported by a collective wealth of legal knowledge, aimed at achieving the best outcome for your estate.

Expertise Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago 201710 Best 2016 Client Satisfaction American Institute of Family Law AttorneysAvvo Clients' Choice 2016 DivorceRising Stars Kevin P. O'Flaherty SuperLawyers.com10 Best Law Firms 2018 Client Satisfaction American Institute of Family Legal Counsel Attorneys Estate Planning Law40 under forty

What to Expect From a Legal Consultation

The purpose of a consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us.

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Office Address

1941 N. Elston Ave., Ste. A

Chicago, Illinois 60642

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Hours of Operation

9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 6:00pm


Meet the Owner

I am personally committed to ensuring that each one of our clients receives the highest level of client service from our team.  Our mission is to provide excellent legal work in a cost-effective manner while maintaining open lines of communication between our clients and their attorneys.  Many of our clients are going through difficult times in their lives when they reach out to us.  They should feel comfortable leaning on the experience and knowledge of our attorneys as their counselors and advocates.  We are here to help!

- Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty, Owner

Check Out Articles and Videos from our Cook County Probate Attorneys

Learn About When Probate is Necessary

In this article, our Cook County probate lawyers explain when probate is necessary in Cook County, Illinois. Probate is a court case in which the court oversees the distribution of a decedent's assets to his or her heirs and creditors.  In order to administer an estate in Illinois, probate will be necessary if:

  • The decedent owned more than $100,000.00 in assets outside of either a trust or outside of accounts that are payable to a direct beneficiary upon death, OR
  • The decedent owned any real estate outside of a trust that is not deeded with a right to survivorship for the decedent's spouse (even if there is a mortgage) outside of a trust

If probate is necessary, the person responsible for administering the estate, known as the executor, must have letters of office issued by the probate court before he or she can begin collecting the decedent's assets for distribution to creditors and heirs.  The executor will also have to file accountings, notices, and reports with the court regarding the collection and distribution of these assets.

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How to Administer an Estate in Cook County

In this article, our Cook County estate attorneys explain how to administer an estate in Cook County, Illinois. If you are the Executor or Trustee of an estate you should have our Cook County probate attorneys handle the legal aspects of estate administration.  However, even when working with a probate attorney, there are still several actions you will need to take on your own.

  1. Open an estate checking account
  2. Keep records of all transactions that deal with the estate
  3. Deposit any cash you receive into a checking account
  4. Gather a complete list of assets owned by the decedent
  5. Manage the estate by disconnecting utilities, filing for a change of address and obtaining insurance to protect assets
  6. Handle financial matters by closing credit card accounts and notifying relevant financial institutions
  7. Pay debts or expenses from estate checking account
  8. Distribute remaining balance of estate to heirs as directed in decedents will
  9. File income tax returns
  10. File estate tax returns

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How to Open a Probate Estate

In this article, our Cook County probate attorneys explain the probate process. In order to open a probate estate, our Cook County probate attorneys will file several documents with the probate court:

  • Petition for Issuance of Letters of Office and Admission of Will:   This petition requests that a probate case be opened.  If there is a will, the petition requests that the will be admitted to probate.  It also requests that an order be issued by the court naming the petitioner as executor of the estate.  This order is called "Letters of Office," and it gives the executor the power to collect the assets of the estate and distribute them to creditors and heirs or legatees.  
  • Affidavit of Heirship - The Affidavit of Heirship lists the individuals who stand to inherit from the estate.  If there is a will, these individuals are called "legatees."  In the absence of a will, they are called "heirs." 
  • Affidavit as to Copy of Will - This is a sworn statement by the executor that, to the best of the executor's knowledge, the will be submitted to the probate court is accurate and the most recently executed will. 
  • Oath of Office - This is an written oath sworn by the executor to fulfill his or her fiduciary duties associated with the administration with the estate. 
  • Surety Bond or Non-Surety Bond - In order to initiate a probate case, a bond must be obtained by the executor from an insurance company to insure against the executor's mishandling of assets. 
  • Notice to Heirs and Legatees - A notice that the executor must mail to all individuals who stand to inherit from the estate informing them that the probate case has been opened. 
  • Publication Notice - Unknown creditors of the deceased must be informed that the probate case has been opened through publication in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks. 

Upon filing of these documents, a hearing will be held to appoint the executor and admit the will to probate.   


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