As you navigate through grief, you may also find yourself thrust into the unfamiliar world of handling a deceased loved one’s estate.

Illinois typically requires probate when the estate’s value exceeds $100,000. This legal process oversees the settlement of the deceased’s financial matters and the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. One common question in different probate cases is, How much do probate lawyers charge in Illinois?

The cost of legal representation varies based on several factors. In the following sections, we’ll explore the factors influencing probate lawyer fees in Illinois and who is responsible for these costs.

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The Cost of Probate in Illinois

Several factors, including the following, can influence the cost of probate in Illinois:

  • Complexity of the estate. A straightforward estate with minimal assets and no contested issues will generally cost less than a complex one with numerous assets, intricate financial matters, or potential disputes among beneficiaries.
  • Estimated time commitment. The lawyer will estimate the total time needed to complete the probate process, ranging from several months to more than a year. Multiplying the estimated hours by the hourly rate roughly calculates the total cost.
  • Contested wills. If a party challenges the will’s validity, the legal fees can increase significantly due to the additional time and resources required for litigation. 

Other probate costs include probate lawyer fees, court fees, appraisal fees, accounting fees, and other expenses. Seeking legal advice early on can help prevent disputes and potentially reduce probate costs in the long run. Here’s a breakdown of potential probate costs:

  • Simple estate—$4,000 – $6,000; 
  • Moderate estate—$7,500 – $15,000; and
  • Complex estate—$15,000+.

Remember that these figures are estimates, and the final cost can vary considerably depending on your situation.

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost

In Illinois, the state does not mandate probate lawyer fees as they are determined by the agreement between the lawyer and the client. There are different ways that probate lawyers can charge for their services.

Hourly Rate

An hourly rate is the most common method of charging for probate lawyers, who bill for the time they spend working on the case. Hourly rates for probate lawyers typically range from $200 to $400 per hour, depending on their experience, reputation, and location.

Flat Fee

Certain probate lawyers may charge a flat fee for specific tasks within the probate process, such as filing the will, preparing the inventory, or finalizing the estate. The flat fee usually varies based on the estate’s complexity and value, ranging from $1,500 to $6,000.

Percentage of the Estate

Some probate lawyers may charge a percentage of the estate’s gross value, which includes the estate’s assets, debts, and taxes. The rate may vary depending on the lawyer and the estate, but it usually ranges from 2% to 5%.

Who Pays Probate Attorney Fees in Illinois?

The deceased person’s estate typically pays the probate attorney fees in Illinois before the distribution of assets to the heirs. The probate lawyer fees are deducted from the beneficiaries’ inheritance. However, in some cases, the executor or administrator of the estate may agree to pay the probate lawyer fees out of their pocket, or the beneficiaries may agree to share the cost of the probate lawyer fees.

The Value of a Probate Lawyer

A probate lawyer offers significant benefits, including reduced stress, compliance with complex probate laws, maximization of estate value, and dispute resolution. They handle the complexities of probate, ensuring compliance, maximizing estate value, and protecting rights and interests in cases of contested wills or disputes among beneficiaries.


Take the Next Step With Us 

Vantage Group Legal Services offers access to a network of experienced probate attorneys in Illinois who can expertly and compassionately guide you through the probate process.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Let us connect you with an attorney who can answer your questions, offer invaluable support, and ensure careful and efficient handling of your loved one’s estate.

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