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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/6-10: Notice - Waiver

Probate is a legal process that is required when someone passes away testate. Testate means that the decedent left a will. The decedent’s will is submitted to the appropriate Illinois Probate Court—typically by the executor named in the will. Evidence must be submitted showing that the will is authentic. In some cases the will is self-proving, while in other cases it is necessary to submit affidavits from the witnesses or for the witnesses to testify in court. After the court issues an order admitting the will to probate, or refusing to admit the will to probate, section 6-10 of the Illinois Probate Act, Notice – waiver, requires that notices be sent to certain interested parties. To learn more about the notice requirements and other procedure requirements related to probate and administration, contact an experienced Chicago probate lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Probate

Probate is the process of proving that a will is valid. In Chicago, there are three ways to prove that a last will and testament is authentic.

  • Self-proving. A self-proving will is one where two witnesses execute an affidavit in the presence of the testator that states that they observed the testator sign the will and that they believed the testator to have been of sound mind when he or she signed the will.
  • Testify in court. If the will is not self-proving, then under section 6-4 of the Illinois Probate Act, the two witnesses must be located and summoned to court. Under oath the witnesses must state that they were present and observed the testator sign the will, that the will was attested by the witnesses, and that they believed that the testator was of sound mind at the time he signed the will. If you are a witness and are subpoenaed to testify in court, you must attend the hearing. If you cannot make the hearing, discuss your conflict with an experienced Chicago probate attorney.
  • Affidavit. Another option for instances in which the will is not self-proving is an affidavit which is signed by the witness at or after the time of attestation, and is attached to the will or is attached to a copy of the will.

Just because a will is self-proving or is otherwise proved, does not mean that the will is valid and will be admitted to probate. Interested parties have the right to object to a will. The court will not admit a will to probate if there is evidence that a will was based on duress, undue influence, or fraud.

Notice – Waiver

After an order admitting a will to probate has been issued by a Chicago area Probate Court, or an order denying probate, there are additional procedures that must be followed. The petitioner must send a copy of the order to each of the testator’s heirs and legatees whose names and addresses are listed in the petition. If the name or post office address of any heir or legatee is not stated in the petition, the petitioner must publish a notice once a week for 3 successive weeks. The petitioner must mail the order not more than 14 days after the entry of the order. If publication is necessary, the first publication must be not more than 14 days after entry of the order.

Such notices are required not only for orders related to admitting a will to probate, but also for orders related to orders appointing a representative.

There are exceptions to this general rule. A copy does not need to mailed or a published for anyone who attended the hearing, anyone who is not designated in the petition as a minor or person with a disability, or anyone how filed a waiver of notice.

If you are a petitioner required to send a notice, it is important that you follow the procedures described in the Probate Act. For more information, contact an experienced probate attorney in Chicago.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Petition to admit will or to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-2
  2. Will to remain with clerk: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-7
  3. Witness to appear for probate - penalty: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-17
  4. Petition to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/9-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 6-10- Notice - Waiver

(a) Not more than 14 days after entry of an order admitting or denying admission of a will to probate or appointing a representative, the representative or, if none, the petitioner must mail a copy of the petition to admit the will or for letters and a copy of the order showing the date of entry to each of the testator's heirs and legatees whose names and post office addresses are stated in the petition. If the name or post office address of any heir or legatee is not stated in the petition, the representative or, if none, the petitioner must publish a notice once a week for 3 successive weeks, the first publication to be not more than 14 days after entry of the order, describing the order and the date of entry. The notice shall be published in a newspaper published in the county where the order was entered and may be combined with a notice under Section 18-3. When the petition names a trustee of a trust, it is not necessary to publish for or mail copies of the petition and order to any beneficiary of the trust who is not an heir or legatee. The information mailed or published under this Section must include an explanation, in form prescribed by rule of the Supreme Court of this State, of the rights of heirs and legatees to require formal proof of will under Section 6-21 and to contest the admission or denial of admission of the will to probate under Section 8-1 or 8-2. The petitioner or representative must file proof of mailing and publication, if publication is required, with the clerk of the court.

(b) A copy of the petition and of the order need not be sent to and notice need not be published for any person who is not designated in the petition as a minor or person with a disability and who personally appeared before the court at the hearing or who filed his waiver of notice.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are a petitioner, beneficiary, heir, or other interested party in a probate matter, it is important that you understand the process. The skilled probate lawyers serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have extensive experience working closely with executors, administrators, beneficiaries, heirs in a wide range of estate matters, including matters related to probating a will. If you have concerns related to the administration of an estate including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act section 6-10- Notice- Waiver, or any other estate or trust matter, contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve clients throughout Chicago.

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