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How Long Does the Probate Process Take? Your Probate Questions Answered

How Long Does the Probate Process Take? Your Probate Questions Answered

Probate Process: There is a lot involved with the probate process. It’s typically complex, leading many to seek the services of a qualified probate attorney. These legal professionals can help people navigate the probate process, getting everything done properly and legally. 

Even if you put probate matters into the hands of a professional, it’s advisable to understand what the process entails so you have an idea of what to expect. Asking relevant probate questions is one of the best ways to get started.

What is Probate?

The probate process takes place after someone dies. It ensures all their assets are properly and legally distributed and managed according to their will. Any debts, such as credit card balances, are paid. The process also makes sure that all taxes are handled. 

How Long Does the Probate Process Take?

There is no set amount of time for how long a probate process can take. Several factors can influence the length of time, including how extensive the will is and in what location the probate process takes place. 

The process may stretch out longer if there are any disputes from beneficiaries and/or people or companies who are owed money from the deceased person. Once notified of the opening of a deceased person’s estate in Illinois, creditors have six months to file a written claim to try to claim money they feel is owed to them by that estate. Probate may take as little as a few months, but usually, it falls in the range of within a year after the person’s death. 

Is Probate Always Required In Illinois?

Not all wills in Illinois need to go through the probate process. Some stipulations dictate if it’s required. For instance, the assets typically go into probate if they are solely (and not jointly) owned by the deceased person or are more than $100,000. A good probate attorney can discuss with you if a particular will in Illinois must go into probate.

How Do I Find a Probate Attorney In Illinois?

It can be nerve-wracking trying to understand the entire probate process on your own, especially if you’re doing it while grieving the loss of a loved one. A probate attorney can simplify the process. There are multiple ways to find a qualified probate attorney in Illinois — whether seeking assistance for yourself or advice pertaining to the will of a loved one.

One option is going to the Illinois Lawyer Finder page on the Illinois State Bar Association website. From there, you have two options: You can either search for a lawyer on the website via its online directory or get a consultation with a local lawyer (a small fee is often required). Make sure to find an exceptional, reputable firm that practices probate, such as Hays Firm.

Another option is to speak to loved ones and get personal recommendations for probate attorneys in Illinois. Once you feel you have potential options, research each firm to learn more about what the past clients have to say. When you find a few possibilities for probate attorneys, schedule free or paid consultations so you can meet with them before committing to their probate services.

Don’t forget to ask about the fee structure: Probate can last several months on the short end and may stretch out for an extensive period. Generally, you don’t want to sign up as the client of a probate attorney before understanding what they charge and when.

Final Thoughts on The Probate Process

There’s a lot more to know about the probate process in Illinois. Ultimately, your best source of information is the probate attorney you choose. They can provide you with details specific to your situation. Your lawyer can help guide you through the probate process, making it easier for you and anyone else involved.

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