Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Probate in Illinois
After the death of a family member or friend, you might find yourself in charge of getting their affairs in order. Generally, this means locating a will if there is one, submitting it to court (or telling the court there is no will), and possibly overseeing the process that follows, which is called probate.
It's a difficult time for many reasons, and when you add legal stuff on top of that, it's normal to feel overwhelmed. For someone dealing with probate for the first time, there's a lot to learn and some pitfalls to avoid. We usually recommend finding an experienced probate attorney to at least walk you through the process, if not handle most of it for you. Numerous court appearances are required in these cases and various technicalities have to be complied with. If it's done wrong, the Judge could throw the case out and make you start over.
Stress and sadness inevitably cause conflict, even in families where it's not the norm. An attorney can be a good buffer and provide some much needed perspective. The attorneys we recommend have extensive experience in probate – both in cases that are routine and those where there is confusion or disagreement.
A will must be filed at the courthouse in the county where the person was living when they died. It's generally best to find a probate attorney in that same area, because they'll be familiar with the courthouse and the probate judges there. When recommending a probate attorney, we make sure they have many years of experience, positive client reviews, an excellent reputation in the legal community and that they value good communication.
We know probate attorneys in almost every county in Illinois who meet the above criteria. We never recommend someone we wouldn't recommend to a family member or friend, especially when it comes to a probate case. We understand what you're going through, and we want to help.
The following links provide additional information about the probate process. If you have any questions, or if you'd like a referral to an experienced Illinois probate attorney, please contact us.
- Cook County probate matters
- Filing a Will in Illinois Probate Courts
- Grounds For Contesting a Will or Trust in Illinois
- How are attorneys fees paid in probate cases?
- How Long Does the Probate Process Take in Illinois?
- Illinois Probate Overview
- Intestate Laws in Illinois
- Lake County Probate Attorneys
- Overview of the Probate Process in Illinois
- The Role of an Executor in Illinois Probate Matters
- What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will in Illinois?
- What Makes a Great Estate Planning or Probate Lawyer?
- If something is left to you in a will you can reject it.
- For a will to be valid, the person signing it must be of sound mind at the time they sign their will.
- In many cases probate attorneys will accept payment once the will has been approved by the judge and assets have been distributed.
- In many cases probate attorneys will accept payment out of the estate.
- The only Cook County Probate Court is in downtown Chicago at the Daley Center.
- It takes a minimum of 6 months once a will is officially filed in Probate Court until it can be approved and it usually takes at least 1 year.
- You can usually avoid Probate Court altogether by putting your assets into a trust.
- By writing a new valid will you automatically terminate any previously written wills.
- Under Illinois law, a will is supposed to be filed in Probate Court within 30 days after a decedent's death. In reality it often takes longer for the will to be filed.
- Lawyers should not charge on a contingency basis to process a will. However, many lawyers will charge on a contingency basis (they don't get paid unless you win) if an estate is contested.
- Wills do not have to be notarized in Illinois, but they must be witnessed by two people.
- Power of attorney power expires upon the death of the person who has granted it.
Findgreatlawyers.com is an online resource to help you find a lawyer in Illinois or obtain information on almost every area of Illinois law including probate. You can ask our staff of lawyers questions, search our website for legal information or ask us to provide you with an Illinois attorney referral that fits your needs. If you would like our help please contact us by e-mail or call us toll free at (800) 517-1614. We help just about everywhere in Illinois. For more information on probate in Illinois, please read on.