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What is a Probatable Asset?

​Any asset that does not have:

* a beneficiary (IRA's, 401K, Life Insurance)
* a co-owner such as Joint Tenancy
* Title in a Trust or that was not held in trust

In the State of Illinois any decedent's estate which contains over $100,000.00 of probatable assets requires the will be admitted to probate and an Executor appointed to distribute the assets.

What are the steps to Probate a Will?.

The attorney for the Estate typically handles this.The Attorney for the Estate then files the petition to probate the will and sets the hearing date to open the Estate.At the Hearing the Attorney represents the Estate to grant the Executor named in the will the authority to act. The executor has no authority to take action regarding the estate until appointed by the court.The attorney then represents the Executor at the hearing to close the Estate, gives receipts from all heirs to the judge to demonstrate that each heir has received their portion of the estate, and closes the Estate.


When a Trust is not properly funded or a loved dies without a Trust Probate may be necessary to distribute assets. 

The Law Office of Robert J. Chio addresses all of your probate needs. We work in conjunction with a qualified CPA who specializes in filing the last Federal and State Income Tax Return (1041) for a d​eceased person as well as Federal Estate Tax Returns for large estates.

​The Probate Administration fee includes all office consultations, phone and letter correspondence, filing of the will, preparation of the petition to probate the will, representation at the hearing to appoint the executor, preparation of all required notices, and representation at the hearing to close the estate and discharge the Executor. Fees charged by the Probate Court to file the case and any fee to Publish legal notices are owed by the client directly to the court or newspaper and are not covered by the flat fee quoted.

Trust Administration


Trust Administration is the process of conveying estate assets to the beneficiaries of the trust upon the death of the creator or Settlor of the Trust. Provided the trust has been funded prior to death, probate is not necessary and a court order is not necessary to grant authority to the Successor Trustee. The Successor Trustee is a person appointed in the Trust to take control of your estate in the event of death.

Trust Administration does not require the Successor Trustee to post a bond or publish notice to creditors. The amount each beneficiary will receive remains private. Trust Administration is a more cost effective, private, and quicker method to handle a decedent's estate.  

It is a common misunderstanding by many beneficiaries that a Trust can be developed after death.  In order to gain the tax benefits and probate avoidance from a Trust, the Trust must be developed by the person or persons BEFORE death.   

Property not titled correctly prior to death may not be included in the Trust and may generate a probate. The process of retitling assets to accomplish estate planning goals is called funding. Our firm will provide the person who is preparing the trust with specific details of how to properly transfer titled items into the trust to avoid probate. Properties or assets not disclosed that have not been titled correctly will be subject to probate if the overall amount of the funds is above the local law for Small Estate Administration.

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Law Office of Robert J. Chio