The death of a loved one can be traumatizing, and your family might be going through a difficult period of grief. This difficult situation can become even more so if you learn that your loved one passed away without having a valid last will and testament. Many people underestimate the importance of a will, or believe that estate planning is only for older adults or the very wealthy. For this reason, people die without wills more often than you might think. If this happens in your family, consult with a descendant estates lawyer in Illinois right away.
Passing away with no will is legally referred to as dying intestate, and the estate will be administered in accordance with Illinois laws of intestate succession. The following will likely occur in this situation:
Filing a probate petition – Someone will need to prepare a petition to file with the probate court and open a case. This is necessary whether or not someone had a will.
Appointment of an administrator – Because there is no will to designate someone to serve as the executor of the estate, the probate court will need to appoint someone to fill this role.
Determining and notifying heirs – When no will names beneficiaries to inherit the estate, it must be determined who would be considered heirs under state intestate succession laws. These heirs should be notified of the probate proceedings, and potential heirs not included might raise challenges and claim they should get a portion of the estate.
All of the above happens before the estate even begins to be administered, so it can be a complicated process.
Learn More from a Descendant Estates Lawyer in Illinois Today
Illinois descendant estates attorney Charles T. Newland represents family members facing probate with no will. Contact us online or call 847.797.9300 for help.