Probate involves the administration of the property of a deceased person (“decedent’s estate”). The deceased must be a resident of McHenry County. All Probate filings must be done electronically, unless you have reason to not e-file for good cause. Illinois Legal Aid Online provides online assistance to complete a Certification for Exemption from E-Filing. Will filings are not accepted electronically, they are accepted at the Circuit Clerk’s Civil customer service windows in Room 136.

Filing Wills of the Deceased

Immediately upon death, any person who has the deceased person’s Will in their possession shall file it with the Clerk of the Court of the proper county, pursuant to Illinois law 755 ILCS 5/6-1.
  • Wills must be filed within thirty (30) days after the date of death.
  • The original Will must be filed with the Circuit Clerk’s Office.
  • There is no fee to file a Will.
  • Once the original Will is filed with the Circuit Clerk, certified copies of the Will can be purchased. 
  • Wills cannot be filed prior to death.
  • The Circuit Clerk will maintain the original Will.

Filing Wills and Probate Petition

  • The petition to have a Will probated and the original Will can be filed at the same time.
  • The Circuit Clerk will maintain the original Will and petition.
  • Forms to probate a Will or to probate an estate without a Will are provided by the Circuit Clerk in Room 136 or from the list below.

Small Estate Affidavits

In Illinois, estates that do not include real estate, do not have debts or claims, and are worth $100,000 or less do not have to go through Probate Court.  These are called “small estates.”  For more information how to use a “Small Estate Affidavit” to distribute the deceased’s property outside of the court go to Illinois Legal Aid Online. 

Small Estate Affidavit – Form

Using a Small Estate Affidavit Brochure

Forms – Probate (Deceased) with Will:

Forms – Probate (Deceased) without Will:

Forms – Probate (Deceased) – Closing Estate:

Forms – Deceased – Not Probating Estate: