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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/5-1: Place of Probate of Will or of Administration of Estate

When someone passes away, the decedent’s estate will be distributed to the beneficiaries listed in the will during a process called probate. In the absence of a will, the estate will go to the decedent’s heir during a process called estate administration. However, before the estate can be distributed, a probate case must be opened by the filing of the will with the probate court. If the decedent did not have a will, then a petition for estate administration must be filed. Regardless of whether the decedent died testate or intestate, the petition to begin the process of opening the estate must be filed with the court that has jurisdiction over the estate. If you have questions about the place of probate of will or of administration of estate, contact an experienced Chicago probate administration lawyer who understands the process of opening an estate in Illinois.

Place of Probate of Will or of Administration of Estate

The person who files the will with the probate court must do so in the clerk’s office of the appropriate probate court.

  • The probate court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his death.
  • If the decedent did not have a known residence in Illinois, then the probate court in the county in which the majority of his real estate was located at the time of his death.
  • If the decedent did not have a known residence in Illinois, and did not own real estate in Illinois, then the probate court in the county where majority of his personal property was located.
Probate and Estate Administration Process

As a Chicago probate administration lawyer will explain, once a petition has been filed to open an estate, the probate court judge will review the petition. In the absence of objections, the court will approve the petition and formally appoint the executor or estate administrator. This paves the way for the winding up of the estate and distribution of assets.

Probate and estate administration involve the colleting of estate assets, payment of estate bills, and distribution of assets. If the decedent had a will, then the assets will go to the beneficiaries listed in the will. If the decedent did not have a will, then the assets will go to his (or her) legal heirs based on the rules of intestate succession. Typically this means that the estate will go to the decedent’s surviving spouse or children. In the absence of a surviving spouse, the estate will go to the decedent’s parents, siblings, grandparents, or other relatives. To understand your rights to inherit under the rules of intestate succession, contact a probate administration attorney in Chicago.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Effect of order admitting will to probate: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/4-13
  2. Situs of personal estate of nonresident decedent or missing person: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/5-2
  3. Power to ascertain and declare heirship - evidence: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/5-3
Illinois Probate Act, Section 5-1- Place of Probate of Will or of Administration of Estate

When the will of a testator is probated or when the estate of a decedent or missing person is administered in this State, the probate or the administration shall be in the court of the county determined as follows:

(a) In the county where he has a known place of residence;

(b) If he has no known place of residence in this State, in the county in which the greater part of his real estate is located at the time of his death; or

(c) If he has no known place of residence and no real estate in this State, in the county where the greater part of his personal estate is located at the time of his death.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you would like to be appointed an estate administrator or you have been named an executor in a will and would like to learn more about the process of managing an estate, contact an experienced probate administration attorney serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will help you make the process as simple and painless as possible under the circumstances. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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