Under Illinois state laws, a will must usually pass through the probate process in order for the property and assets to be distributed. This usually occurs after the person’s death when the estate executor initiates a filing with the local or county court. This is sometimes a special division within the civil court system.

Once the filings are begun, the individual recipients who are named as beneficiaries must be provided with notice that the proceedings have begun. Also, notice may be provided through newspaper listings. There may be some exceptions when a will or certain will items do not need to pass through the probate process. These will be discussed further below.

Are There Ways to Avoid the Probate Process under Illinois Laws?

As mentioned, some wills do not need to pass through the probate process. These include situations where the property involved transfer-on-death accounts, certain types of joint property, or living trusts. These types of transfers may be preferable, as the probate process can sometimes yield inconsistent distribution results. There may be some benefits to avoiding probate. Also, the process of probate can be time consuming.

Also, there may be streamlined probate processes for small estates. These allow for shorter distribution turnover times. They are limited to estates that have an overall value of less than $100,000.

What Are Some Common Issues in Illinois Probate Claims?

Legal disputes such as will contests and probate conflicts can often arise in connection with probate claims. In the state of Illinois, issues that commonly arise during probate may include:

  • Disputes over the way assets are distributed
  • Conflicts regarding the classification of property (this can affect beneficiary’s rights)
  • Issues with debts and collections
  • Taxes, especially those that may affect title to property

Conflicts over probate issues may require additional legal action and litigation. This is especially true when it comes to real estate distributions wherein record searches need to be performed. Thus, it is important that a will be clear and preferably reviewed by an attorney early on to avoid any disputes.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Probate Laws in Illinois?

The probate process can often involve some complex legal subjects and statutes. You may wish to hire a Illinois probate lawyer in your area if you need any help with the probate laws in Illinois. Your attorney near you can provide you with any legal issues or conflicts if you will be involved in a probate proceeding. Also, if you have any specific questions or concerns, your lawyer can provide you with legal research and representation to help protect your rights.