Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Lake County Probate Attorneys
When someone dies, their “estate” is made up of the property they owned at their death. This can be real estate, furniture, stocks, bank accounts, jewelry, and anything else that was theirs or in their name. Families can’t just divvy it up on their own. There is a legal process, which varies depending on the circumstances. Two important factors are: (1) whether there was a will, and (2) whether the estate is worth more than $100,000.
If there is a will, it needs to be filed in 30 days. When someone dies in Illinois, their will is filed in the county where the deceased was living at the time they died. If they were living in Lake County (even if they were technically at a hospital in another county when they passed away), the Lake County Courthouse at 18 N. County Street in Waukegan is the right place. There is no fee for filing a will in Lake County.
A person’s estate needs to be processed through the courts if it’s worth more than $100,000. This process is called probate. For small estates (less than $100,000), the process is usually simpler: You can fill out a small estate affidavit and bring that to any institution, such as a bank, that is holding the deceased’s money or property. This should avoid going to court to distribute property.
If probate is required, a relative or friend will be named to handle the estate. Everything will be collected, accounted for and valued. If the deceased owed money to any creditors, they will have a chance to argue for repayment from the estate. There is a waiting period. Then there is final distribution.
The process can be as simple or as complicated as you can imagine. Executors are usually family members who aren’t familiar with estate laws and the probate process. In Lake County, executors often hire probate attorneys, who will be paid out of the estate assets, to guide them. The ultimate responsibility of the executor is to protect the assets of the estate and distribute them properly. The entire probate process can last anywhere from six months to several years.
As an executor, you can benefit from an attorney who is honest, efficient, experienced, successful and compassionate. If you need help finding a probate attorney in Lake County, we can help. We will talk to you about what you need and recommend the Lake County attorney we believe is best for you. You can call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614, or contact us online and we’ll call you.
Since 2001, Findgreatlawyers.com has been dedicated to helping people find the right Illinois lawyer for their particular situation. We help with almost any type of legal issue, including probate, in all areas of the state, including Waukegan and Lake County. Our goal is to answer your questions directly and honestly, and to only recommend an attorney we’d recommend to a family member or friend. If you would like our help, call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614, or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. You will usually hear back from us right away, and almost always within 24 hours.