When someone dies, their assets – called their estate – are inherited by their heirs or beneficiaries. Estate planning can be complicated because inheritance laws vary from state to state, and often depend on the value of the estate. Here are the five Illinois inheritance law frequently asked questions.
1. Does Illinois have an Inheritance Tax?
Illinois does not have an inheritance tax but it does have an estate tax. Illinois is one of twelve states that has its own estate tax separate from the federal estate tax. The estate tax threshold for Illinois is $4 million; if you die and your estate is worth less than $4 million, Illinois won’t collect any estate tax. The Illinois estate tax rate is graduated and goes up to 16%.
2. What if you die without a will in Illinois?
If you die without a will in Illinois, your estate is designated intestate. Intestacy laws divide a person’s property based on the family relationships that are in existence at the time of their death. The will could be lost, could have been destroyed, or could have been revoked, but there is no will that could be admitted to probate. In those cases, a person constitutes having died intestate.
3. What is Illinois’ survivorship law?
Illinois’ survivorship law says that in order to inherit under Illinois intestate succession law, an heir must live at least 120 hours longer after the deceased dies.
4. When do I need to file the estate tax return?
The estate tax return must be filed within 9 months of the decedent’s death. A 6-month extension is available, however, it the extension must be filed within the same 9 month period.
5. How can I reduce my estate taxes?
A trust or living trust can help you manage your assets to take advantage of tax laws and reduce your Illinois estate taxes.
Do you have questions about estate taxes in Illinois? Our experienced estate and probate attorneys in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois can advise you on the best options to protect your assets and loved ones. To talk to a trust attorney contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-800-0112.