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What is Probate?

Probate is a legal term that refers to the process that determines where a deceased person’s estate is distributed. Probate cases range from simple to complicated, however, our probate lawyers in Rockford, Il can help you understand your particular case. Typically, probate property is distributed based on the last will and testament of the deceased. If there is no last will and testament in place, state law determines how the estate is distributed.

Steps Involved in Probate

There are several basic steps that are involved in the probate process. First, someone must be appointed as administer to the estate. If there is a will in place, this information can be found there. The probate court will appoint an individual if there is not a will in place.

The second step in the probate process is proving to the court that the will is valid. This involves requirements like signatures, witnesses, and/or notaries. Our probate lawyer in Rockford, Il can help ensure everything is in place.

Taking inventory of the deceased individual’s property is the third step. Keep in mind that the probate process must be completed before individual assets are sold or distributed. Property appraisal is the fourth step, followed by paying any debts or taxes. Finally, the remaining assets are distributed based on the wishes of the decedent is there is a will. If there is not a will, the state law will determine how assets are distributed.

How Long Does the Process Take?

There is not a strict timeline that the probate process follows, and timing depends on individual circumstances. On average, the process takes six to nine months, but it can take years if there are any disputes or disagreements about the legality of the will or distribution of the assets. Our probate lawyers in Rockford, Il will do our best to keep the process moving.

What Property Doesn’t Probate Cover?

Non-probate assets include life insurance policies that designate a specific beneficiary. Bank accounts that have a “payable upon death” beneficiary as part of a legal contract are also considered a non-probate asset. However, if you wish, you can make nearly all of your assets non-probate by including them in a living trust.

Contact the Crosby Law Firm

Don’t take on the probate process without professional help. Our lawyers will be there for you every step of the way to make the process as easy as possible. Contact us to get started.

Call us now to get the legal advice you need.(815) 397-2006

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Very thorough and professional. Staff is detail oriented, kind and compassionate. Handled my case quickly, saving me thousands of dollars. 10/10 would definitely hire again.

Denny Sanders


Client Testimonials

The Crosby Law Firm, specifically Danielle Burza- Smith helped me with my landlord and estate planning issues. Danielle explained everything really well! Would definitely recommend!

Staci Donald


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Really good firm !!! Everyone there has made me feel welcome and when talking to attorney I feel like I’m talking to a friend. Staff is polite and very accommodating not to mention they always answer all of my questions and have never made me feel degraded because I don’t understand legal lingo like another firm did to me. Highly recommended !!!

Nicole Almond


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I didn’t have to wait long to be seen. The staff was very friendly. I’m confident that they can handle my problem.

Don Kristofek


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