Probate* is a court proceeding that deals with the transfer of property from a decedent (individual who died) to the heirs named in his will, if he/she has made a will. However, if the individual died intestate, or without a will, the probate court deals with the distribution of property according to the Illinois Probate Act (755 ILCS 5/2-1).
However all assets are not subject to probate:
- Assets to beneficiaries will pass automatically; probate is not necessary or required.
- Trusts containing property or assets
- Life insurance proceeds
- Funds in IRA/401K/retirement accounts
- Real estate owned in Joint-Tenancy or Tenancy by the Entirety or Transfer on Death Deed
- Payable on Death bank account
*This information is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice.