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What Happens If I Die Without a Will or an Estate Plan?

two people worried looking at their estate plan

Establishing a comprehensive estate plan is essential if you want to decide how your assets will get distributed after your death. If you die without a will or an estate plan, the intestate succession state laws will determine how your property will be distributed upon your death. The state will determine how your bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other assets you own will be handled.

Intestate Succession Laws In Illinois

Survived by a Spouse or Descendants

If an Illinois resident or a person who owns property in Illinois passes away without a will, the Illinois intestacy succession laws will determine how to divide the assets.

If you are survived by your spouse, children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, your spouse will inherit one-half of the probate estate, and the children will inherit the remaining one-half.

If you have a surviving spouse and no descendants, your spouse will inherit the entire probate estate.

If you are survived by descendants but no spouse, the descendants will inherit the entire probate estate.

No Surviving Spouse or Descendants

If you die without a surviving spouse or descendants, your assets will go to surviving parents, siblings, or deceased sibling descendants. The parents and siblings equally inherit the deceased person’s probate estate, but if one parent is deceased, then the surviving parent will inherit a double share.

If a person doesn’t have surviving parents or siblings, the inheritance lines are extended to the paternal and maternal lines.

If a person isn’t survived by any family member, the state would keep the estate.

Estate Planning Assistance From Reno & Zahm LLP

A comprehensive estate plan lets you decide exactly how you want your head earned assets to be divided when you pass away. Without a will or estate plan, the state will be the one who decides how to best divide your estate. Plus, an estate plan can help you reduce the amount of taxes your inheritors will have to pay.

If you have questions about creating an estate plan or don’t know where to start, our estate planning experts are here to help you.

Get in touch with our Rockford estate planning lawyers today at (779) 235-9115 to schedule a consultation!

The blog published by Reno & Zahm LLP is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.