Types of Assets Subject to Probate

Types of Assets Subject to Probate in Illinois

By: SJ Chapman, J.D., Bielski Chapman, Ltd.

Probate assets refer to any property (“asset”) owned by a decedent that must go through probate
court to be transferred to the people who will ultimately inherit them. Probate is an expensive
public proceeding, so if you want to maximize your estate and/or keep ownership of assets
private, note the common types of assets that typically go through probate in Illinois, below.

Assets Under a Last Will and Testament

A common misconception is that having a Last Will and Testament keeps a decedent’s assets out
of probate. A Last Will and Testament is simply a guidebook for the court that contains a
decedent’s last wishes for where they would like their assets to go. A will can make probating
assets a much smoother process but does not avoid probate.

Real Estate, Stocks, Bank Accounts

“Titled” property such as real estate must go through probate. If it is also titled to other people
without being titled jointly, the proceedings in probate are lengthy and involve multiple parties
who may not agree on the outcome. This same scenario can be said for other titled property such
as RVs, stocks or bank accounts.

Assets Without a Clear Recipient/Beneficiary

Any assets without a designated beneficiary will be probated upon the passing of a decedent.
These assets commonly include bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance, or
investment accounts. Beneficiaries are often easily changed, but once someone has passed, no
beneficiary or recipient can be named.

Maximizing Your Estate Assets

Probate is a lengthy and expensive legal process that can be avoided with an estate plan. If any of
the assets listed above pertain to yourself or a loved one, reach out to an estate planning attorney
that can assist you. By doing this, you can avoid probate and maximize the inheritance from your

If you have questions about probate or the estate planning process, please contact our office at
312-583-9430 for more information.

Request a Consultation

When you are ready to get started, simply fill out the form or give us a call at (312) 583-9430 to request your initial consultation

Bielski Chapman, Ltd.
(312) 583-9430

Bielski Chapman, Ltd. is a full service Estate Planning practice that provides comprehensive planning in
the areas of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, guardianship, probate and trust
administration, real estate law, business formation, business succession, asset protection, estate tax
planning, charitable planning and special needs planning. Bielski Chapman, Ltd. serves clients and their
families all throughout Chicago, IL and the surrounding areas of Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Clarendon
Hills and DuPage County.

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