What Is Illinois Probate

Our Chicago estate planning attorneys frequently handle Illinois estate planning matters involving probate.  Probating an estate in Illinois means taking the original last will and testament (and any other associated estate planning instruments) to the Illinois probate court and having it accepted as the proper will.  The Illinois probate court only supervises the property or estate assets that passes under the will.  The probate court does not supervise property that passes by beneficiary designation or by virtue of the fact that it was jointly owned.  Going through probate is the process of:

  • filing the last will and testament;
  • filing the inventory of the estate assets;
  • filing the accounting of everything that you take in and disburse in settling the estate; and
  • filing the other court papers necessary to properly distribute the estate.

What Does the Illinois Probate Court Charge?

In Illinois, each  county has a separate probate court.  Illinois state law sets the Illinois probate court fees for all probate courts across the state.  The responsiblity for paying probate costs and fees will generally come from the probate estate, not from the executor, trustee or beneficiaries.  Initial estate expenses incurred by the executor, trustee, beneficiaries or others are generally reimbursed after the probate estate is opened.  The following is a summary of Illinois probate costs and fees for typical probate estates (current as of 9/18/2016):

  • filing fees – In Cook County, probate estates where the individual has a properly executed last will and testament – $453.00 ;
  • publication fees — Publication notice through Chicago Daily Law Bulletin – $215.00;
  • attorney fees – Our Chicago probate attorneys bill hourly for probate estate matters.  Generally, probate estates that do not require extensive involvement and do not encounter significant complications will typically cost $2,500 – $5,000, plus court costs.;
  • executor fees – Typically, the executor or personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation; and
  • accountant and appraisal fees – Depending on what estate assets are involved, accounting and appraisal fee may be applicable.

You're Named Executor of An Estate...Now What?

You need an Illinois probate lawyer to help you with the probate forms, the tax filings, the legal decision that have to be made and the numerous other legal complexities that to a layperson are not even apparent. Our Chicago probate attorneys provide comprehensive Illinois probate estate administration services and trust administration services.

Do I Need An Illinois Attorney?

Yes.  You need an Illinois probate lawyer to help you with the probate forms, the tax filings, the legal decision that have to be made and the numerous other legal complexities that to a layperson are not even apparent.  We provide comprehensive Illinois probate estate administration services and trust administration services from the filing of the last will and testament (and any other associated estate planning instruments) through the closing of the estate or trust, and everything in between. Should a dispute arise (estate litigation or trust litigation), our Chicago estate planning attorneys have substantial experience to help navigate the myriad of Illinois probate issues.