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What Happens if Someone Dies With No Will?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Carpentersville estate planning wills attorneyIt is important to make a last will and testament when you are planning your estate. A will ensures that your family members will be the legal owners of any property or assets you wish to pass on to them. It also explains any other wishes you might have for what should happen after your death. Personal items, real estate, and vehicles are the most common assets to include in a will. However, wills may also include provisioning for guardianship of children, investments, or business assets. 

Preparing your will is a necessary part of planning for what happens after you die, but not everyone has a chance to make those choices. If a person passes away unexpectedly and has not made a will, the government will need to get involved. 

Intestate Wills

If a person dies without creating and executing a last will and testament, their estate will pass to their family members through a process called “intestate succession.” The state will handle the provisioning of the deceased’s estate to their spouse or heirs. Before the intestate succession process can proceed, the estate will be used to pay for any debts the deceased acquired during their life. The process for intestate succession in Illinois is laid out below: 

  • If the deceased was married and had children, the spouse will receive half of the estate and the other half will be divided among the children.
  • If the deceased was married but the spouse is also deceased, their children will receive the entire estate.
  • If there is a surviving spouse but no children, the entire estate will go to the spouse.
  • If there is no surviving spouse or children, the estate goes to the parents and brothers or sisters of the deceased, if they have any. 

If necessary, the intestate succession process will proceeds outward to more extended family, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. If there is no known family at all, the estate of the deceased passes to the county where it is located. If the deceased had any larger personal estate items such as boats or vehicles, they would pass to the county where the resident lived or where these assets are located if the deceased is not a resident of Illinois. All other personal property would pass to the State and the State Treasurer of Illinois. 

Contact a Knowledgeable Algonquin Estate Planning Attorney

Every person should have a will, which allows them to control the details of how their estate will be distributed to their heirs and ensure that their last wishes are carried out correctly. In order to make sure your last will and testament is prepared exactly to your specifications, you should work with an experienced Kane County estate planning lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC today at 847-428-7725 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+II&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000

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