Probate is the court supervised legal process after a person dies that collects that person’s assets, pays the final debts owed by the deceased person and distributes the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries named in the Will (legatees), or by way of Illinois Statute when there is no Will (heirs). The term, “testate,” is given to the estate that is probated with a Will. An executor should be named in the Will who will run the estate. The term, “intestate,” refers to the probate process for a person who dies without a Will. In that case, the Probate Court appoints an administrator who runs the estate, distributing the final assets in compliance with the Illinois intestacy laws that determine to whom the assets shall go. The Probate process is not a fast manner for distributing assets of the estate and there are difficulties that can arise, including litigation, if the legal procedures are not properly carried out. A probate attorney can make sure the filing requirements are met and that the estate is administered in an efficient manner, taking care to protect the estate from expensive and protracted conflicts, before they arise.