Do all Wills have to go through Probate in Illinois?

No, all Wills do not automatically go through the Probate Court system in Illinois after the death of the Testator (the maker of the Will).  To the contrary, a majority of estates in Illinois never need a Probate proceeding to be properly administered.  Many times, an estate won’t need a Probate proceeding because the value of the Probate estate is not significant enough to need a Court process to administer it.  For instance, if there is no real estate in a person’s estate, and the total value of the personal property does not exceed $100,000.00, a Probate case is likely not necessary in Illinois.


However, while all Wills do not go through the Probate system, all Wills do become public record upon the death of the Testator, and thus are required to be filed with the Court Clerk of the Testator’s local county of residence.  This requirement to file the original Will must be fulfilled within 30 days of the Testator’s death, or when the person holding the original Will discovers that the Testator has passed away.


Does a Will avoid Probate Court in Illinois?


While a Will is an essential document in every estate plan, a Will does not avoid the Probate Court system in Illinois.  If an individual desires to avoid the probate court system in Illinois, there are many ways to do this, such as:


  • Holding assets jointly with others who survive the individual
  • Gifting the property away before death
  • Using a land trust to hold real estate
  • Using a living trust to hold all of the property


Also, as previously mentioned, if the estate has no real estate, and if there is under $100,000.00 in personal property, the estate will likely not need to go through the probate court system anyway.  Thus, in many situations, a basic Will suffices to properly direct the administration of the estate since the probate court process is not usually needed in a majority of cases.


Our Services in Probate


Our firm helps families with routine and complicated Probate estates in Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Will, and Cook Counties.  With routine Probate estate matters, we assist Executors and Administrators with the following issues:


  • Filing the Will, if necessary
  • Preparing all estate-opening court documentation
  • Obtaining a surety bond, if necessary
  • Representing the Executor/Administrator in court to open the estate
  • Preparing and sending required notices to interested parties regarding the estate, including beneficiaries and creditors
  • Advising the Executor/Administrator regarding asset liquidation, payment of debts, and final distributions to beneficiaries of the estate
  • Preparing all estate-closing court documentation
  • Representing the Executor/Administrator in court to close the estate


If additional issues arise that complicate and/or delay the routine Probate process, such as litigation related to the estate, we are able to help our clients resolve these additional issues as well.


If you have questions regarding a Probate estate in the greater Chicago area, including in Kane, DuPage, Will, Cook, and Kendall Counties, give our office a call at (630) 898-4789 to set up a free initial consultation.  You can also email us at if you would prefer to communicate with the attorney via email.



















































The Law Office of Kevin Williams, 2295 Bannister Lane, Aurora, IL 60504, (630) 898-4789

Law Office of


Serving DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, & Will Counties


Phone: 630.898.4789

Fax: 630.658.0557




Business Hours:

Monday - Thursday

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Saturday / Sunday

US Federal Holidays


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