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This is not an official court website.  The website address for the Nineteenth Circuit Court of Illinois is: 



Lake County, Illinois and

McHenry County, Illinois comprise the

19th Judicial Circuit


McHenry County Courthouse

2200 N Seminary Avenue

Woodstock, Illinois

(815) 334-4385

Court Clerk Katherine M. Keefe (815) 334-4310  Rm. 356

Probate Judge Michael J. Sullivan Room 358


Lake County Courthouse

Waukegan, IL 60085

(847) 360-6480

Chief Judge James K. Booras – (847) 377-4500

Chief Circuit Court Clerk Sally D. Coffelt (847) 377-3380

Probate Judge Diane W. Winter Room 307 Phone 847-377-4500

Judge Winter should not be contacted on the phone directly and has no secretary

The Court Clerks who handle Probate matters are Vicki and Linda.  They can be reached by calling (847) 360-6686 or (847) 360-6793.  Court hearings or court dates are arranged by calling one of these telephone numbers.


To obtain Lake County Probate Court forms:

Enclose a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope and Write to:


Clerk of Court

18 N. County

Waukegan, IL 60685

Attention Probate


Or go on-line and get them at: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/CircuitClerk/Publications/AllForms.htm



If you go to the courthouse, the Clerk's Office is on the first floor at the South End of the Building.



Remember - Courthouses have security and you will have to pass through a metal detector and maybe even searched before being allowed in.  The security is similar to that at airports.


Decedent’s Estate


Small Estate Affidavit

If the total value of the Decedent’s estate, excluding real estate, is less that $100,000.00 the assets can be transferred to those entitled to them either under a will or by intestate succession by the execution and delivery to those holding the assets of the decedent (i.e a bank, stock transfer company, safe deposit box company or the Illinois Secretary of State for auto titles) of a Small Estate Affidavit.  Frequently, banks and stock transfer companies will ask for letters of office; however, a small estate affidavit will usually serve the same function.  Another alternative to letters of office or the small estate affidavit is the transfer indemnity bond.  However these bonds may cost more than having an estate probated.  The complete small estate statutes should be read before using this affidavit for transfers.  It can be found at Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/25-1 through 5/25-4. The online address for the Small Estate Act is:  http://www.legis.state.il.us/.  Click on the Illinois Compiled Statutes button, scroll down to Chapter 755 and look for “Small Estates” then click on that listing.  In addition, the Secretary of State driver’s license offices provides these forms for transfer of auto titles. The Lake and McHenry Circuit Court Clerks provides these forms also.


A summary probate estate administration of an estate of $100,000 or less may also be used to transfer assets and keep the costs to a minimum; however, this procedure really requires complete agreement by the heirs and anyone else entitled to the assets of the estate.   While the persons entitled to the assets may obtain them faster under this procedure, the expense will probably be nearly the same or slightly less than a regular probate proceeding and places those receiving a distribution at some risk for debts of the decedent.


For a Decedent Estate don't forget to tell them whether you want the forms for a Testate or Intestate Estate and whether this will be a Supervised Administration or an Independent Administration.


A Testate Estate is one where the decedent left a will.  An Intestate estate is one where there is no will.  Independent administration is where the personal representative (Administrator of Executor) does not have to get certain actions approved in advance by the probate court judge.  In a Supervised Administration, the personal representative must have their actions approved by Petition and Order signed by the probate court judge before the action is taken.  In Supervised Administration an inventory must be filed within 60 days of the appointment of the personal representative.  In Independent Administration the inventory is not due until the estate is being closed and then it is due not less than 30 days prior to filing of the representative’s final report and accounting.  Also, an Independent Administration will be converted to a Supervised Administration by the Petition of any interested person.  If such a petition is filed there is no way to stop the conversion to Supervised Administration.


Forms Needed


Testate Estate:


Petition to admit will to probate and for letters of administration

Affidavit of heirship (either “spouse and descendants” or “collateral heirs”)

Affidavit of attesting witnesses (if the will does not have such an affidavit attached to it)

Oath of Office

Surety Bond or Non-surety Bond

Order declaring heirship

Order admitting will and appointing representative (i.e. Executor)

Notice to heirs and legatees

Appearance and Consent to proof of will by Affidavit (where notice is waived by heirs and/or legatees) or Appearance on proof of will

Publication Notice


Intestate Estate:


Petition for Letters of Administration

Affidavit of heirship (either “spouse and descendants” or “collateral heirs”)

Appearance for Letters of Administration (where notice is waived by heirs)

Oath of Office

Surety Bond

Order declaring heirship

Order appointing representative (i.e. Administrator)

Publication Notice

Notice of hearing (to heirs)

Independent Administration – Publication Notice


Disabled Persons Estate:


Petition for appointment of Guardian for Disabled Person

Report of Physician

Statement of Right to Discharge Guardian

Order Appointing Guardian ad Litem for Allegedly Disabled Person

Summons for Appointment of Guardian for Disabled Person

Summons (copy)

Oath of Office for Guardian of Minor of Disabled Person

Order of Appointment - Plenary Guardian or Disabled Person

Bond of Legal Representative – No Surety or

Bond of Legal Representative – Surety


Minor’s Guardianship Estate:


Petition for appointment of Guardian

Nomination for Guardian of Minor (where Minor over 12 years agrees to Guardian)

Order Appointing Guardian ad Litem


Summons (copy)

Oath of Office for Guardian of Minor or Disabled Person

Bond of Legal Representative – No Surety or

Bond of Legal Representative – Surety



On-Line Forms


The Lake County Web Site makes forms available at: http://www.co.lake.il.us/circlk/forms.asp 


The McHenry County forms may be downloaded from: http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/departments/circuitclerk/Pages/Probate.aspx

The forms come in PDF Adobe Acrobat format, so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software.  If you don’t have this software on your computer, the web site has a button which takes you to the Adobe Web site where you can easily download the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.




Court Clerk’s Office


The Lake County Probate Court Clerk's office is located in the basement of the Lake County Judicial Center at the South end of the Building.  The Lake County, Illinois Circuit Court Clerk's office is open from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P. M. from Monday to Friday, holidays excluded.  It is best to call in advance of going to the Lake County Courthouse and to schedule a court date.  Remember - Courthouses have security and you will have to pass through a metal detector and maybe even searched before being allowed in.  The security is similar to that at airports.


The McHenry County Clerk’s office is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.




Free Parking for the Lake County Courthouse is located on the North side of the building.


The Lake County probate court room is on the fourth floor.  The best way to get there is by elevator from the Clerk’s office.  The Lake County website has a very good map for the Courthouse.  Go to:  http://www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/index.htm




To schedule a matter before Judge Winter **************


Contested Matters


  Before hearing any contested matter Judge Winter requires that copies of all documents (pleading, affidavits, etc.) involved in the hearing be delivered to her office at least 7 days before the hearing.


Filing a New Probate Case


A new Lake County, Illinois Probate Estate may be opened by first filing the will of the decedent, if there is a will, with the Lake County, Illinois Probate Court Clerk.  A filed will is given a file number.  If one is filing the Petition to open an estate at the same time tell the Clerk so that only one file number is given to the matter.  If the will was filed earlier and one is later filing the Petition to open the estate, be sure to tell the Clerk to send the will file up to the Courtroom along with the case file.  Then, after filing the original Petition and payment of the filing fee with the Lake County Circuit Court Clerk, **************to schedule a date for hearing.  On the hearing date appear in Room  ****  at 8:15 A.M. and give the Notice of Hearing, if required, and the oath, bond, heirship affidavit, heirship order, order appointing representative and copy of original petition to *********** Judge Winter's Clerk.    The Clerk will review the forms and ordinarily be able to tell you if there is any problem with any of them.  If all the forms are properly filled out, Judge Winter will sign the orders appointing the representative, determining heirship, setting bond and opening the estate that morning and letters of office will be mailed within a few days.  Upon filing an estate in the Clerk’s office a one year status date is set for closing of the estate, so you should make note of and calendar this date.  You will find this information on the filing fee receipt you receive when you file petition. If, by reason of some emergency, copies of letters of office are immediately needed, tell the Clerk and wait until the end of the call.  The Clerk will accompany you to the Clerk's office, deliver the order there, where you can order and received your copies of the letters of office.  Filing fees can be found at the court website.  Specific addresses for fee information for Lake and McHenry counties appears below near the end of this page.


Closing a Decedent Estate


Closing a decedent’s estate can be done in the same manner.   However in Lake County you should first obtain from the Court Clerk a Certificate of Cost indicating that all court costs have been paid.  Send notice to all interested parties and send a copy of the Notice, Inventory, Final Account, Certificate of Costs and Final Report to Judge Winter at least 7 days before your hearing date.  ****************If every thing is in order, the Estate will be closed.



Notice of hearing dates are set by statute.  They are:




NO WILL ESTATES or Intestate Estates:

When applying for letters of administration (where there is no will) one must mail notice of the place, date and time of the hearing and a copy of the petition to each person named in the petition whose post office address is stated and who is entitled to administer or to nominate a person to administer equally or in preference to the petitioner.


Within 14 days of the entry of an order issuing letters to an administrator the administrator shall send a copy of the Petition and a copy of the order showing the date of its entry to each of the decedent's heirs who was not entitled to notice of the hearing on the petition.  If the name or address of any heir is not stated in the notice then publication in a newspaper shall be done for three consecutive weeks.  (See 755 ILCS 5/9-5 Notice – Waiver)



ESTATES WITH A WILL or Testate Estates:

Within 14 days after entry of an order admitting or denying admission of a will to probate or appointing a representative, the representative, or if none, the petitioner must mail a copy of the petition to admit the will or for letters and a copy of the order showing the date of entry to each of the testator's heirs and legatees whose names and post office addresses are stated in the petition.  If the name or post office address of any heir or legatee is not stated in the petition, the representative, or if none, the petitioner, must publish notice in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks  (See 755 ILCS 5/6-10 Notice - Waiver)


The Illinois Compiled Statutes relating to probate can be found on the world wide web at: http://www.legis.state.il.us/


A complete listing of Probate Court Forms for McHenry County can be found at: http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/CountyDpt/circuit/CirClkForms.asp



McHenry County filing fees can be found at:



Lake County and all other filing fees can be found at:





The Lake County Probate Court Clerk's Office is open from **********  A.M until    **********P.M Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays.  Is best to call in advance of going to the Lake County Courthouse and to schedule court dates.


The McHenry County ********************


This website has been compiled by Paul P. Didzerekis, Attorney at Law, 610 W. Roosevelt Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187, Phone: 630-653-7710


This site is still under construction and any suggestions or corrections to erroneous material will be appreciated.  Thank you for visiting ProbateIllinois.com.


Disabled and Minor Guardianships




Circuit Court 19 Ads.

Counties Included:
Lake County | McHenry County |
Cities Included:
Alden | Algonquin | Antioch | Bannockburn | Barrington | Beach Park | Buffalo Grove | Cary | Crystal Lake | Deerfield | Fox Lake | Fox River Grove | Gages Lake | Grayslake | Great Lakes | Green Oaks | Gurnee | Hainesville | Harvard | Hawthorn Woods | Hebron | Highland Park | Highwood | Huntley | Ingleside | Island Lake | Johnsburg | Lake Bluff | Lake Forest | Lake in the Hills | Lake Villa | Lake Zurich | Lakewood | Libertyville | Lincolnshire | Lindenhurst | Long Grove | Marengo | McHenry | Mundelein | North Barrington | North Chicago | Old Mill Creek | Park City | Richmond | Ringwood | Riverwoods | Round Lake | Round Lake Beach | Round Lake Heights | Round Lake Park | Russell | Solon Mills | Spring Grove | Union | Vernon Hills | Volo | Wadsworth | Wauconda | Waukegan | Winthrop Harbor | Wonder Lake | Woodstock | Zion |

This material provided by: The Law Offices of PAUL P. DIDZEREKIS, Attorney at Law, 610 W. Roosevelt Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 653-7710, Fax (630)653-7731.

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