If your loved one died without a will, trying to manage his or her estate can feel overwhelming. You may face difficulties dividing assets, and conflicts may arise with others who believe they are entitled to an inheritance. Fortunately, a Lombard intestate lawyer is available to help.
Illinois intestacy distributes assets on a per stirpes basis. If a decedent died, there is no spouse, but he or she had three children and all those children are living, the assets would go to those children in equal shares. If there was a surviving spouse, the estate would be divided with a hundred percent of the assets going to the surviving spouse.
Situations in which per stirpes comes into effect is when one of those children have predeceased the decedent. If that child who predeceased had children, then that person’s share would go to those children. However, if the predeceased child did not have children, his or her share would be split up among the other beneficiaries.
In situations where there is a surviving spouse and children, half goes to the surviving spouse and half gets split among the children. In all these scenarios, there is a difference between pre and post-deceased. If they are pre-deceased, the assets flow on a per stirpes basis.
On a post-deceased, they go to the post-deceased person’s estate. In cases in which there are a lot of heirs and they are dealing with intestacy, it could get extremely complicated very quickly, because they may be dealing with multiple states in the event of post-deceased heirs.
There is a statute separate from the laws of intestacy called a spouse’s award. It is a sum of money that a surviving spouse could apply for and receive on top of their share. Similarly, there is an award for children. It is a little smaller than the spouse’s award, but it is a sum of money that a child could receive on top of whatever they are going to receive under the laws of intestacy.
The child’s award is for minor children only. The purpose behind both statutes, the spouse’s award and the child’s award, is that it is supposed to provide for the support of the surviving spouse and any minor children while the estate is being administered.
A stepchild who has not been adopted is not an heir of the stepparent. If a stepparent dies without a will, and they leave a stepchild that has not been adopted, the stepchild is not considered an heir of the estate and would not inherit.
To inherit, stepchildren have to be formally adopted by the parents through the legal process. Illinois has adopted the concept of equitable adoption, so they could try and prove that the decedent, the stepparent, equitably adopted them.
The law in Lombard would deem that the property would go to the city if there are no heirs. However, the idea of having no heirs is a misnomer. People may say a person has no heirs because they are not able to find them, but everyone has a living heir. It is just a matter of how far up the family tree parties may have to investigate in order to find them.
In certain cases in which there are no descendants, no surviving spouse, or no siblings, it may seem almost impossible to find their living heir. Unknown heirs mean that once the estate is administered, the assets are marshaled, and the assets have to be deposited with the county treasurer wherever the estate is. If a person passed away in DuPage County, and there are no heirs to distribute the estate to, the estate gets deposited with the DuPage County Treasurer. After seven years on deposit with the county treasurer, those assets escheat to the county.
Distributing a loved one’s assets after a death can be overwhelming, especially if they died without a will. Fortunately, experienced Lombard intestate lawyers are available to help. For more information about your legal options, call today and schedule a consultation.