OverviewCriminal Court, Divorce Court, and Juvenile Court are easily recognized through newspapers, radio and television. However one does not hear or read about Probate Court unless a friend or family member has died or become disabled.
The Probate Court is located in the Main Courthouse, 18 N. County St., Waukegan, Illinois. The Probate Division in the Circuit Clerk’s Office is 847-377-3260.
The major functions of Probate Court include the supervision of estates for those who have died, become disabled, and related affairs of a minor. Due to the complexity of laws and procedures in probate, you are encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer.
HandbookThe Probate Guide Handbook (PDF) will inform you about the types of cases heard in Probate Court as well as familiarize you with some of the legal terminology often associated with probate cases. This booklet was designed to let you, the reader, become more informed about the Probate Court in Lake County, Illinois.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide an introduction to and a general outline of the Lake County Probate Court for the lay person. It is not intended as a guide for those who would like to handle probate matters without the assistance of an attorney. Probate law can be specialized and difficult to understand for those without legal training. It is always advisable that an attorney be consulted.
The word "probate" is not part of our common vocabulary. It is derived from Latin words meaning "a thing that is approved" and "to test and find good." In Illinois, a Probate Court is a particular court which has power over the administration of the estates of deceased persons, as well as living persons whom the law recognizes as being unable to handle their own affairs.
Types of CasesGenerally, 3 types of matters are handled in Probate Court:
- The administration of the property of a deceased person ("decedent's estate");
- The administration of personal and financial affairs for any individual suffering from extreme mental and/or physical disabilities ("disabled's estate"), and
- The supervision of the financial affairs of someone under eighteen years of age ("minor's estate").