Probate is a legal process for validating a will, satisfying claims against an estate and distributing the remainder to heirs. Probate proceedings may or may not be required when a person dies, depending on the existence of a will, the size of the estate, the nature of the assets, how property is titled and other factors.
The Chicago law firm of Jill M. Metz & Associates counsels executors and estate representatives in the probating of estates, including independent administration. We practice in the probate courts of Cook County, and we regularly advise out-of-state clients with family members who had estates or property in Illinois.
When Does An Estate Go Through Probate?
Under Illinois law, probate is required if:
- Real estate needs to be transferred.
- The estate is valued at $100,000 or more.
- The person died without a will and there are assets that must be transferred.
- A beneficiary is contesting the distribution of a small estate.
Assets held in trusts bypass the probate process and automatically pass to the listed beneficiaries. The deceased's personal property and co-ownership in real property may transfer directly, outside of probate, depending on how the title to property is held.
If the person's total estate is under $100,000, the probate process may be avoided through a small estate affidavit.
Probate Estate Attorneys In Chicago
Our experienced probate lawyers take time with clients to educate them about the probate process, including procedures, timelines and fiduciary duty. In general, once probate is established, creditors must be given at least six months to bring claims against the estate. Other than that statutory waiting period, our goal is to help clients open the estate and settle it as promptly and cost-efficiently as possible. Our role is to anticipate and remove legal barriers and to advise and assist clients at each stage.
To discuss the probate process with our Chicago probate estate administration attorneys, call 773-878-4480 or contact us by email. We look forward to working with you.
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