Expertise.com

Best Probate Lawyers in Champaign

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Probate Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Armstrong, Grove & Wawrzynek LLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Armstrong, Grove & Wawrzynek LLC

1400 Charleston Ave., Mattoon, IL 61938
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Armstrong, Grove & Wawrzynek LLC helps Champaign families avoid probate through personalized estate planning. It drafts healthcare and property powers of attorney, trusts, and wills, as well as amendments and restatements to communicate its clients’ last wishes in the event of their incapacity or death. Working as a team, the attorneys assist in administering the decedent’s estate and resolve issues through mediation. Partner Janet L. Grove served as the chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Trust & Estates Section Council.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Banner Ford Klaus LLP Attorneys and Counselors logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Banner Ford Klaus LLP Attorneys and Counselors

1605 S. State Street Suite 103, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Banner Ford Klaus LLP Attorneys and Counselors is a law firm that caters to individuals, families, and businesses in Champaign and the surrounding areas. It assists clients with estate probate and trust settlement. It also helps clients protect their assets and loved ones by offering estate planning services, which include asset protection, business succession planning, and estate and income tax reduction. Richard P. Klaus, one of the firm's attorneys, carries more than 30 years of legal experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Champaign-Urbana Legal Clinic logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Champaign-Urbana Legal Clinic

2106 W Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61821
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Living Wills

Business Description

Champaign-Urbana Legal Clinic handles probate cases in Champaign and the nearby communities. With over three decades of experience in the legal field, it assists individuals in creating living wills, guardianships, health care powers of attorneys, and premarital agreements. It also assists clients in the probate court to help them navigate the distribution process of the estates of their deceased loved ones. Champaign-Urbana Legal Clinic also focuses on bankruptcy, traffic violations, and residential and commercial real estate cases.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Craig & Craig, LLC Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Craig & Craig, LLC Attorneys at Law

1807 Broadway Ave. P.0. Box 689, Mattoon, IL 61938
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Craig & Craig, LLC Attorneys at Law has been providing services in Champaign and nearby locations since 1868. One of its practice areas is probate law, representing individuals and families during will, trust, and estate matters litigation. The legal office also deals with cases related to commercial law, including sale and purchase agreement disputes. In addition, its team takes on criminal, personal injury, and employment law. One of the partners, Robert Grierson, served as the president of the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association from 1994 to 1995.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (4)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Harrington Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Harrington Law

201 W Springfield Avenue Suite 601, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Based in Champaign, Harrington Law provides personalized legal representation to clients with a wide variety of probate and estate planning matters. It utilizes different planning techniques and trust preparation methods to ensure that its clients' estate planning issues are efficiently resolved. Its legal team also advises trustees and executors regarding their administration concerns which involve creditor protection, guardianship, and asset preservation. Principal partner Daniel G. Harrington is also the current president of Becknell Industrial LLC, an industrial real estate firm.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Holder Law Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Holder Law Group

505 West University Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Holder Law Group is a family-owned firm that provides legal representation and advice to clients with probate cases in Champaign. Its legal team utilizes a hands-on approach by working closely with its clients throughout any probate case, from drafting wills to filing beneficiary forms. The professionals also limit the number of cases that they handle to efficiently cater to their clients' requests. Principal attorney, Charles B. Holder, is a certified public accountant and currently serves as a president of Holder Wealth Management, Inc.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.2 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
King Business and Patent Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

King Business and Patent Law

301 N. Neil Street, Suite 400, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

King Business and Patent Law is a solo practice that focuses on the intellectual property protection of individuals and businesses in Champaign and neighboring areas. Founder Julie King also handles estate planning and probate matters like preparation of wills, trusts, and power of attorneys, as well as distribution of assets, payment of taxes and debts, and resolution of disputes. King is a Champaign native who has more than 20 years of experience working in the legal field.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.7 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Koester & Bradley logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Koester & Bradley

801 West Springfield Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Founded in 1895, Koester & Bradley is a law firm that focuses on personal injury and financial recovery. Its probate lawyers in Champaign handle probate litigation matters involving estate issues associated with wrongful death and survival action claims. The litigation attorneys use their knowledge and experience to resolve financial issues and get their clients the assets they deserve through the probate court. Other practice areas include class action lawsuits and defective product claims.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.8 / 5 (17)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Livingston, Barger, Brandt, & Schroeder, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Livingston, Barger, Brandt, & Schroeder, LLP

2918 Crossing Court, Champaign, IL 61822
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Livingston, Barger, Brandt, & Schroeder LLP is a legal firm that's been representing individuals, families, and businesses since 1920. Its probate attorneys near Champaign, with a second location in Bloomington, guide executors and administrators through the court proceedings following a loved one's death. The team also assists fiduciaries and other interested parties in estate and trust litigation to ensure the estate is handled properly. Other services include medical liability and personal injury defense.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Lookofsky Law Office logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Lookofsky Law Office

111 East Main Street, Champaign, IL 62565
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Lookofsky Law Office caters to clients in Champaign. The company's probate practice assists individuals and families in validating, distributing, and protecting the last will and assets of their deceased loved ones. Walter Lookofsky, the firm's founder and sole practitioner, handles legal matters involving probate and non-probate estates. He also assists clients in the preparation of estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Lookofsky previously served as a captain in the United States Army and the Illinois National Guard during overseas deployments.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.3 / 5 (11)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Meyer Capel, A Professional Corporation logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Meyer Capel, A Professional Corporation

306 West Church Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Meyer Capel, A Professional Corporation, is a large law firm that's been offering clients a wide range of services since the 1960s. Its probate and estate planning attorneys in Champaign guide personal representatives through the court proceedings following a loved one's death. The legal group also prepares wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to prevent or reduce the time the estate stays in probate. Other practice areas include real estate, tax planning, and health care law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
4.1 / 5 (20)
Avvo
4.5 / 5 (8)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (3)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Miller & Hendren logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Miller & Hendren

2504 Galen Drive Suite 101, Champaign, IL 61821
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Miller & Hendren is a general practice law firm serving clients in Champaign and the surrounding areas. It offers estate planning and probate services, covering probate administration, inter vivos or living trusts, and estate tax planning and preparation. For more than 100 years, the firm has been assisting farmers, university faculty, families, businesses, and local government. Because of its diverse clientele and practice areas, the firm has the advantage of seeing cases from more than one angle and finding innovative solutions.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Rincker Law, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Rincker Law, PLLC

301 North Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Rincker Law PLLC is a legal firm with offices in Illinois and New York representing individuals, families, and businesses in estate planning and administration matters. The probate attorney near Champaign guides probate and estate administration, such as filing the will, appraising assets, paying creditors, locating heirs, completing all court documents, and dividing the remaining assets to beneficiaries per the will. Ms. Rincker also handles animal law, business, family, agricultural, and real estate law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Avvo
4.9 / 5 (54)
Google
4.5 / 5 (25)
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (23)

(+2 additional sources)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Russo Law Offices LLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Russo Law Offices LLC

201 East Ogden Avenue Suite 218, Champaign, IL 60521
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Russo Law Offices LLC consists of estate planning attorneys serving families and individuals in the Champaign community. The firm has been assisting with probate and trust administration, wills, and elder law cases for over 15 years. Founding attorney Allyson Russo guides clients through the probate administration process, which involves filing a petition with the court, preparing an estate inventory, paying taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. She extends her services to complex guardianship matters and small business formation issues.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
4.9 / 5 (83)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Smith Law, Ltd. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Smith Law, Ltd.

622 Jackson Ave., Charleston, IL 61920
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Smith Law, Ltd., provides counsel to Champaign clients. It advises individuals through the probate process and addresses their concerns on various issues, including the distribution of the estate's property or the payment of any final debts. For clients seeking to avert probate, the firm creates documents like wills. It also deals with bankruptcy law cases and assists individuals looking to file for chapters 7 or 13. Rodney Smith, the firm's principal attorney, is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Thomas Mamer LLP Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Thomas Mamer LLP Attorneys at Law

30 E Main Street. Ste 500, Champaign, IL 61824
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Located in Champaign, Thomas Mamer LLP Attorneys at Law is a private multi-practice firm that has been serving individuals, families, businesses, and organizations since 1946. It provides probate and trust administration services, which include settling estate disputes. It also assists with the creation and implementation of estate tools such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced directives. Additionally, the firm offers asset protection services. Partner Denise K. Bates has served as president of the Eastern Illinois Estate Planning Council.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.2 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Webber & Thies PC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Webber & Thies PC

202 Lincoln Square, Urbana, IL 61801
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

For over 70 years, Webber & Thies PC has been representing business owners and high-net-worth individuals throughout the Champaign metro. It handles cases involving probates and estate planning matters, such as drafting health care and living wills and powers of attorney for property, development of individualized estate plans, and advising methods to mitigate income and generation-skipping taxes. Webber & Thies is one of the two firms in Illinois to be a member of Legus International, a global network that has access to more than 2,500 lawyers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a probate attorney do?

Probate attorneys are licensed professionals who represent executors and heirs after someone has died. They provide personalized legal advice, assist with tax planning, settle debts, and facilitate the distribution of assets. Probate attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by probate courts, although some litigators focus on handling disputes and lawsuits related to contested estates.

What is probate court?

Probate court works with the family or beneficiaries of a deceased person to validate their last will and testament. The courts review the individual's will to identify and calculate assets, pay off remaining debts, and distribute the remaining property to beneficiaries per the deceased person's requests. Depending on state laws, property valued under a certain amount may not require probate.

How long do you have to file probate after death?

The amount of time loved ones have to file a will after a person dies varies from state to state. While California courts require probate to be filed within one year, New York has no deadline. That being said, it's advisable to file probate as quickly as possible once a person has died, as the process itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.

Does life insurance go through probate?

Life insurance doesn't need to go through the probate courts if the deceased individual has named a beneficiary on their policy. However, life insurance policies without beneficiaries, or with beneficiaries who are either deceased themselves or cannot be contacted, go directly to the deceased individual's estate. When this happens, life insurance proceeds must go through probate court to determine how funds should be allocated.

Do household items go through probate?

While the exact rules do vary from state to state, most household items don't require probate and are automatically left to immediate families unless otherwise stated in the deceased person's will. When it comes to property, only items above a certain value or held in title are required to go through probate in most states.

Do bank accounts with beneficiaries have to go through probate?

In the event a beneficiary has been named, bank accounts are not required to go through probate and will be paid directly to the person designated by the deceased individual. However, should that individual be deceased themselves or if contact cannot be made after a certain period of time, funds will be allocated to the estate and put through the probate process.

What happens if no probate is filed?

Depending on the circumstances, probate may not be required in all cases. If a person passes on and their remaining property is jointly owned, it automatically transfers to the other owner. However, if a property is not jointly owned and no probate has been filed, the executor of the will won't be able to transfer titles or cash assets to beneficiaries. Be aware that the specific laws surrounding probate requirements vary from state to state.

What is probate real estate?

Probate real estate is the process that happens when a realtor steps in to handle the sale or transfer of a deceased person's owned home to another individual. In some cases, the house is sold as a means of liquidating assets, and proceeds from the sale are used to pay debts or are distributed to beneficiaries.

Can I probate a will or estate without an attorney?

It is possible to probate a will and close an estate without hiring an attorney. However, it requires multiple steps and an understanding of the law. The first step is to petition the court to appoint a representative for the estate. Next, the executor must notify all heirs and creditors before switching ownership from the decedent to the estate. Once all debts, taxes, and final expenses have been paid, funds can be transferred to heirs. To close an estate, the executor must submit a report showing the court that all obligations and final wishes have been satisfied. While a will and estate may seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly if multiple heirs are involved, or if disputes or disagreements arise over distribution. A probate lawyer can help navigate these disputes effectively, and take pressure off the executor when beneficiaries aren’t getting along.

How many years can an estate remain in probate?

If the will or proposed distribution of property is contested, an estate may remain in probate for several years. The timeline depends on how long relatives have to initiate probate, how long creditors have to come forward, and how busy the courts are. In some states, such as Florida, relatives have just 10 days to initiate probate, and the entire process takes approximately six months. In other areas, such as Massachusetts, the process can last one to two years, although the majority of probate activities occur in the first nine months. The value of the estate also affects the duration of the case. For example, California and Texas have simplified procedures for smaller estates, such as those valued at $150,000 or less.

When is a will's probate an automatic process?

Probate is the legal process of validating a last will and testament to ensure that the decedent's wishes are followed. A probate judge may automatically clear wills if they're accompanied by an affidavit from the decedent, a notary, and a witness. Some assets, including financial accounts with designated beneficiaries, and funds held by certain types of trusts don't have to go through probate.

What does it mean when property is under probate?

Real estate that's under probate is typically liquidated through the court system, which is most common when someone dies without a will. Home buyers who are interested in this type of property must follow special rules regarding deposits, which are sometimes nonrefundable, and buyer's premiums. Additionally, the court must approve the purchase price.

Read all FAQs