Common Illinois Probate Delays

  • Illinois Probate Law
Common Illinois Probate Delays | estate and probate legal group

Probate is the legal process of closing a person’s estate after death. This can include paying all final debts, final taxes, closing accounts, and more before the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. An average Illinois probate process can last 10-16 months or longer in the case of complicated estates. We see some common Illinois probate delays that can often be avoided.

Common Illinois Probate Delays

As probate attorneys, we often see some recurring problems that delay the probate process. Some of these issues could have been avoided with a strong estate plan. The top 5 common Illinois probate delays we see are:

  1. Paperwork
  2. Complexity
  3. Probate court caseload
  4. Creditor notification
  5. Challenges to the will

Not all of these are avoidable delays, but some are. Paperwork is one of the necessary steps in any legal process, including probate. That and the probate court caseload are not things anyone can control, so let’s look at the other delays.

  • The complexity of an estate can cause delays in the probate process.
    • If the deceased person had many investments or other non-liquidate assets (such as property), it would take longer to pass through the probate process.
  • If the person owed a large debt, it may take time to give proper notice to all creditors of their passing.
    • The law requires each creditor to be notified of the passing and allowed time to prepare and request for final payment.
  • Challenges to the will.
    • If the will is not strongly written, a disgruntled beneficiary can dispute its contents easily. A ‘no-contest’ clause is one way to help lessen the possibility of someone challenging the will.

So, how do you avoid these delays? You may not be able to avoid all the delays, but, perhaps you can avoid the probate process and close the estate sooner than usual.

Avoiding The Probate Process

There are several ways to avoid the probate process.

An experienced probate attorney can help you establish the best estate plan for your unique situation. When you pass, your estate may still have to go through probate, but there are ways to help it move along more timely. One of the easiest ways is to update your estate plan every 3-5 years or after any major life event. This can include a new birth, death, wedding or divorce. An estate plan is not something that is done once and forgotten.

Oak Brook Probate Attorney

If you have questions about the probate process, an experienced probate lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified probate attorney in Chicago or Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835

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