Millions of young adults everywhere were shocked and saddened when dancer, entertainer and online personality tWitch tragically took his own life in December at the age of 40. Now they’re equally shocked that his wife has had to file for half of his estate because he died without a will. You’re never too young to have a will and protect your loved ones.
We never want to think about our mortality. But the truth is, we don’t know when we will be severely injured or will pass away. An estate plan is not only a will to be read after your death, but also a way to ensure you are taken care of when you are unable to do so. Whether from an injury, illness, or old age, you want to make sure you receive the best care possible. And when you pass away, you want to share your legacy with your loved ones.
Every person should have 3 main documents in their estate plan:
Of course, many more documents can make up your estate plan, but this is a good starting point.
Dying without a will is called ‘intestate’. Each state’s probate court will decide how to divide your property after you die. tWitch resided in California and didn’t have a will. His wife was correct to address the probate court and ask for half of his assets to be transferred into her name, and the other half will most likely be split between his 3 children.
When a person passes away without a will in Illinois, the estate goes to the probate courts for them to decide the legal distribution of assets. If married, half of the estate will go to your spouse, and the other half will be divided between any children. But things can get sticky if you’re not married but in a committed relationship or have no children.
Without a will, everything will take longer and cost more to disburse due to having to go through probate courts.
We are watching as tWitch’s wife must now work through the courts to continue the care of their children. Talking with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you start your estate plan. Your estate plan will change as you grow older, marry, divorce or have children. You can (and should) update or add to your estate plan as your life changes.
Making a will doesn’t have to be complicated. An experienced estate and probate lawyer can guide you through the process so nothing is overlooked, and you can be sure that your will complies with Illinois probate laws.
To talk to a probate, trust and estates attorney. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at (630) 864-5835
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties