What happens if you die without a will in the state of Illinois?

We all know we’re “supposed” to have a will when we die, but what will actually happen if for some reason we don’t? Will anything bad happen? A recent post has explained the consequences.

Here in Illinois, we do have the right to create a will, however, we are not forced to do so. According to state law, the court will automatically distribute your property to your legal heirs if you are to die without having written a will. The court distributes your property by choosing a specific administrator to go through and settle your estate and handle your assets. The administrator does so by following guidelines described in Illinois law, and this is after all debts and expenses have already been paid.

Dying without a will in IllinoisIt’’s impossible to generalize exactly how your assets will be distributed; that depends on the individual situation. One specific law in Illinois regarding distribution of assets is that if there is a widow and one or more children remaining, the widow will receive one half of the estate and the children will receive and share the remaining half.

Here in Illinois, we have adopted independent administration for all estates. Because of this change, family privacy has been increased. It is also true that this new administration will reduce time required in the courts. The court is only required to be involved in the situation for opening and closing the estate. However, time could be increased if there happen to be disputes among the beneficiaries or with third parties.

In general, it is highly recommended that you create a will while you are able to. It is recommended so that you can voice your opinion in how your estate will be distributed and so that you can reap the tax benefits. If you think it is time to start considering drawing up your will, contact an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney to assist you and answer any questions you may have.