How to Get Started
Free Initial Phone Consultation
If you have been named as executor in a Will or a relative has died without a Will and you are interested in serving as estate representative, or if you are named as a trustee, please feel free to call us at (847) 991-2250 for a free initial 10-15 minute phone consultation to determine if we are able to assist you. Or, contact us here if you would like to inquire about representation by e-mail.
We provide comprehensive probate estate and trust administration services from the filing of the will through the closing of the estate or trust, and everything in between. Should a dispute arise, we have substantial experience to help navigate the issues. We are available to handle cases for all areas of Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane and McHenry County (an estate is generally administered in the county where the decedent resided).
Preparing for Initial Estate Administration Conference
- Client Letter: Items to gather for initial estate administration conference (PDF file) — Provided for your reference to assist you in gathering the initial information to help begin the administration process.
- Related Blog Post: You’re Named Executor. Now What? First Steps…
Illinois Probate Costs and Fees
There are several costs and fees associated with Illinois probate estates. The following is a summary of costs and fees for most typical probate estates (filing costs do vary by county):
- Filing fees — In Cook County, the regular fee to file a petition is $453 (as of 02/21/2017 and e-filing is additional).
- Publication fees — Publication notice through Chicago Daily Law Bulletin costs $235 (as of 02/21/2017).
- Document fees — Letters of Office in Cook County costs $4 each.
- Surety bond — Applies to intestate estates (no Will) and to testate estates with wills that do not waive surety or do not appoint the petitioner. Cost varies depending on value of personal estate.
- Additional court costs and fees — Varies based on circumstances. For example, click here for the Cook County Probate Division Filing Fee Schedule (current as of 12/31/2016).
- Attorney fees — Billed at attorney’s hourly rate. In our experience and practice, attorney’s fees for probate estates that do not require excessive attorney involvement and do not encounter substantial complications typically run between $3,000-5,000 (plus costs). However, sometimes a “simple” probate estate winds up being not as simple as anticipated, usually due to circumstances outside of the representative’s control.
- Executor fees — The executor is entitled to “reasonable” compensation. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and should be discussed with the probate attorney early in the process. If fees will be charged, it is generally advisable to track the time spent by the executor.
- Accountant fees and appraisal fees — May be applicable depending on the circumstances.
Please note that the primary ultimate responsibility for paying probate costs and fees is from the assets of the probate estate, not from the executor or beneficiaries personally. Initial estate expenses incurred by the executor, or others, prior to opening the probate estate are generally reimbursed after the estate is opened.
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Disclaimer: All content provided is brief general information and not intended as legal advice. Always consult an attorney before acting. Please read full disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
To schedule a free initial consultation, please call us at (847) 991-2250 or contact us online.