Can You Reopen An Illinois Probate Estate?

  • Illinois Probate Law
can you reopen an Illinois probate estate | estate and probate legal group

What happens if your parents passed away, you have gone through the probate process and finally brought it to a close, and now you find assets you didn’t realize they had? How are those assets handled? Unfortunately, this happens pretty often. Our clients ask us, ‘Can you reopen an Illinois probate estate?’ And often, the answer is – it depends. It depends more on why probate needs to be reopened rather than the length of time when the estate was closed.

A family may need to reopen an Illinois probate estate for many reasons. Perhaps you discover a new debt, or someone stepped forward and wants to contest a portion of the will.

While most people won’t jump at the idea of finding a new bill, it’s more common to discover an asset that should have gone through the probate process.

Imagine if you are going through some cherished items from your mother and find a deed to a piece of land that she forgot to list in her will. The banks may not allow you to begin the payout process without probate.

How To Reopen An Illinois Probate Estate

Probate is the legal process of closing an estate. That means that you must also follow legal processes to reopenit. In Illinois, there are several steps to follow:

  • Notify the original representative or executor of the estate. If they are no longer available to work probate again, you can request that you be the new administrator.
  • Petition the Court. You must submit a petition to the courts to reopen the probate estate. This petition must include all important information, such as:
    • The original date probate began
    • Who was the executor
    • The date probate closed (probate can sometimes take a year or longer)
    • Why you are requesting to reopen the probate. If it is due to a new asset, you must list the item and estimated value. You must also state how you want the probate handled and what you want from the outcome.
  • The Court will hopefully grant the petition.
  • The executor must now resolve the issue. Let’s use the same example of finding a deed. The executor will notify the county of your mother’s passing, and that probate has begun.
  • When done, the executor will once again close the probate estate

As you can see, this can be a tedious process. That is why working with an experienced probate attorney is important to reopen a probate estate. Talking with the attorney first can help alleviate the stress of finding a new asset. They can answer your questions and let you know if you must go through the process.

Not every asset needs to go through probate. If the item had a named beneficiary (such as a bank certificate of deposit), it does not need to probate. However, items such as land with no named Transfer on Death must go through the probate process.

Oak Brook Probate Lawyer

Do you have questions about reopening an Illinois probate estate? If so, an experienced probate lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified probate attorney in Chicago, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835

Areas We Serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.