Probate is the formal court supervised process for overseeing and ensuring that the decedent’s probate assets are distributed in accordance with the directions set forth in the decedent’s Will (if one exists); or, pursuant to the applicable descent and distribution laws, if the decedent died intestate (without a Will). When probating an estate is required, there are certain legal requirements that must be followed. Most Illinois probate estates, though, can be administered pursuant to “independent” administration, which means that only minimal court appearances will be necessary.
However, not all estates (regardless of whether or not a Will exists), which include assets otherwise subject to probate, will require the opening of a formal probate estate. For example, current Illinois laws provide that if the decedent’s probate estate does not include real estate and if the personal property assets (subject to probate) do not exceed $100,000, then under certain circumstances a small estate affidavit can be used to avoid probate. Our attorneys are available to assist clients with determining whether opening a probate estate is required; and if so, to also assist clients throughout all steps of the probate process.
For more information regarding Wills and/or probate, please contact the Elder Law Center, P.C. division of our law firm.