Spousal inheritance rules in Illinois are not as straightforward as they seem. In many situations, a surviving spouse will be able to retain many of their deceased spouse’s assets without the need for the probate process. Everything depends on how the property was titled before the spouse died.
The rule is that when spouses have jointly titled property, the other spouse will automatically receive it in full when one dies. Usually, jointly titled property includes things like a home or cars. Each spouse is considered to own the property that is in their own name. Marital distribution rules do not apply upon the death of one spouse. A spouse has the right to inherit right up until the divorce And distribution of jointly titled property.
For property that is not jointly titled, it would be distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. The spouse would receive their designated share. If there was no will, then intestacy rules would apply to the deceased spouse’s property. If there is a surviving spouse and children, the spouse would receive 50% of the estate, with the surviving children dividing the other half. If there are no children, then the surviving spouse would receive the entire estate. This is after the family members decide who would be the executor of the will.
In general, many accounts are transferred outside the probate process. For example, investment accounts and life insurance proceeds do not need to go through court. Whoever is named as the beneficiary of the account would receive the assets.
Contact a Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorney Today
Your family is always better off with a written plan that takes care of their needs if you were no longer here. The attorneys at Charles T Newland & Associates can help. Reach out to us online or call us at 847.797.9300.