Illinois Small Estate Affidavit

Illinois state law authorizes a person (termed the Petitioner) to petition a county court to grant them access to the small estate of a deceased person (the Decedent) they were meaningfully connected to. The petition that must be used in such cases is the Illinois Small Estate Affidavit. The Affidavit requires the Heir to provide vital information as their personal details, a justification of their claim to the estate, and an acknowledgement that they have duly upheld the requirements set out by state law regarding this process.

Laws & Required Conditions

Laws: 755 ILCS 5/9-8

Maximum Estate Value: $100,000

Required Conditions: Upon completion of the Affidavit, it must be filed with the appropriate county court. The court regulates and determines all small estate proceedings by ascertaining if the following is apparent:

  • The value of the Decedent’s real and personal estate does not surpass $100,000,
  • No unpaid claim to the state exists, or if there are claims, they have been listed in the Affidavit,
  • No taxes related to the Decedent’s death need to be paid,
  • The surviving spouse or child, if any, is not entitled to any awards as provided by the Illinois Probate Act, or if they are entitled, this has been noted in the Affidavit,
  • All heirs and legatees (an individual who receives a legacy) of the Decedent have given written consent to the distribution of the estate,
  • Each distributee has given a bond in the value of their distributive share, as 755 ILCS 5/9-8(f) outlines, and
  • The Petitioner has published a notice (with the first publication made not less than thirty (30) days before the court hearing) once a week for three (3) successive weeks in a newspaper published in the county where the petition has been filed that informs of:
    • The Decedent’s death,
    • The filing of the Affidavit, and
    • The time, date, time, and place of the hearing of the petition.