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What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of distributing the estate of a deceased person.


How does probate work?

Information about the deceased person’s estate is gathered, including assets and debts. After accounting for all items, the estate is transferred to the beneficiaries according to a will (or the Illinois probate statutes). Here are the typical steps:


• Submit a will to the probate court for approval.

• Publish a note to creditors to file any claims.

• Inventory and appraise assets.

• Pay debts and taxes.

• Distribute remaining assets to beneficiaries.


Is probate necessary?

Not always. Retirement accounts, stock investments, life insurance benefits, trusts and real estate deeds can often be distributed by simple beneficiary designation, without the supervision of the Illinois probate courts.


Sometimes the actual process of a probate is more complex and time-consuming. Estate executors and personal administrators need an ally to follow the Illinois probate laws, as they may be held personally liable for mistakes. An attorney may also be required for cases with high value assets.


Benefits of Probate

In cases where probate is not mandatory, consider the “soft” benefits. An experienced attorney at William Berry & Associates, LLC can guide you through the process. You gain peace of mind and ensure the final wishes of your loved one are executed correctly.


Call 618.344.0034 to get the guidance you need in probate and estate administration.