Illinois Probate Law Explained

Illinois Probate FAQ | Illinois Probate Law Explained

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 1, 2019

In this article, we will explain Illinois probate law and answer the following probate questions

  1. Must every estate go through probate?
  2. Do I need an Attorney to Probate a deceased relative’s estate?
  3. What is a bond in probate?
  4. What happens when a deceased relative owns Real Estate in multiple states?
  5. What should I do if a friend or family member dies and I am named executor in their Will?

Must every estate go through probate in Illinois? 

No. Probate is not required in a number of circumstances, most notably, when the estate contains no real estate and the assets are cumulatively below $100,000. A properly planned and funded Trust Instrument can also avoid probate.  Contact our experienced Probate and Estate Planning attorneys to see if probate is required on the death of your loved one or to plan your estate for probate avoidance.

Do I need an Attorney to Probate a deceased relative’s estate in Illinois? 

If the estate is under $100,000 and has no interest in real estate, probate is not involved. Though an attorney is not required in completing a small estate affidavit, our experienced probate attorneys can help you complete this, ensuring it is done right, done quickly and done affordably. If the estate is over $100,000 or has an interest in real estate, we highly recommend you consult with an attorney.  We offer comprehensive services for those seeking a full service experience and limited scope representation for person’s able and willing to handle much of the claims and bookkeeping responsibilities, and utilize our services for court documents, court appearances and proper legal advice.

What is a bond in probate? 

A bond is a guarantee to the court of responsibility for potential financial errors in managing the estate. A bond is required for most estates unless waived by petition to the court or through the decedents will. There are two types of bonds, a no-surety bond, wherein the representative pledges a personal guarantee up to a certain dollar value to the court, or a surety bond, wherein the representative engages with a bond insurance agency to provide coverage up to 2.5x the value of the estate in exchange for an annual premium.  Most bond companies will only work with representatives who have an attorney.  Contact us to learn how we can assist you.

What happens when a deceased relative owned real estate in multiple states? 

Generally, a probate matter must be opened in any state in which the decedent owns real estate. If the decedent was a resident of Illinois, Illinois would be the jurisdiction for the primary probate case. Other states where the decedents owned real estate would generally then require an ancillary probate proceeding.  Our experienced probate attorneys can manage your loved ones probate administration including coordination with counsel in other states regarding ancillary proceedings

What should I do if a friend or family member dies and I am named executor in their Will? 

Illinois law requires the original Will to be filed with the Clerk of Court in the county in which the decedent resided within 30 days.  If it has been more than thirty days, or if you are unsure what to do next, or whether probate is required, contact our experienced probate attorneys for a free initial consultation – we are glad to assist you.

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Probate FAQ Illinois

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