Descendants are – simply put – people who descend from you. These are some of the individuals who will inherit your estate under Illinois law if you pass away without a will. Similarly, if your parent or grandparent passes away without a will, you might inherit some of their property as a descendant.
Like every state, Illinois has laws that set out succession if there is no will, which is called intestate succession. This dictates who your descendants are officially, along with others who will inherit your property. The following are some examples of who might inherit your estate if you do not draft a valid will:
- If you have a spouse with no descendants, your spouse inherits your entire estate
- If you have children and no spouse, your children inherit your entire estate
- If you have both a spouse and descendants, your spouse gets half, and your descendants divide the other half
- If you have parents and siblings with no spouse or children, your parents and siblings divide your estate equally
- If you have parents but no siblings, spouse, or descendants, your parents inherit your entire estate
- If you have siblings but no parents, spouse, or descendants, your siblings inherit your entire estate
Sometimes, you might not want your descendants to inherit as much as the law allows. You might have friends, charities, cousins, or other more distant relatives who you are close to and want a portion of your estate. This is only one of many reasons why it is so important to draft a will.
Contact an Estate Lawyer in Illinois for More Information
Illinois estate attorney Charles T. Newland helps clients draft wills, as well as helps descendants who stand to inherit property during a probate case. Whether you need help with estate planning or a descendant estate, please contact us online or call 847.797.9300 today.