What Is An Illinois Affidavit Of Heirship?

  • Illinois Probate Law
what is an Illinois affidavit of heirship | estate and probate legal group

There is a distinct difference between an heir and a beneficiary. An heir is someone who is related to the deceased person. It is normally a close relative such as a child, grandchild or parent. But it can also include a cousin, aunt or uncle. A beneficiary is a named person who will inherit an asset when the person dies. It is important to understand this difference when we are talking about an Affidavit of Heirship.

If someone dies without a will (dying intestate), the laws of heirship will apply, and the assets will be distributed to family members only.

What Is An Illinois Affidavit Of Heirship?

Let’s say your mother recently passed away without a will and you are an only child. As a surviving relative you can petition to open your mother’s estate. As part of the process you will submit a petition called an Affidavit of Heirship. This is the document that allows the court to establish the identity of all your mother’s legal heirs. Once the legal heirs are established then the estate assets will be distributed based on heirship laws.

A simple example of laws of heirship is as follows:

  • Spouse but no children → Spouse inherits everything
  • Children but no spouse → Children split all inheritance
  • Spouse and children → Spouse inherits half and children spit the other half

Of course, if there is more family involved, there are more heirship laws. But this gives you a simple example to understand the beginnings of Illinois heirship laws.

An Estate Plan To Avoid Probate

An estate plan is not only for the rich and famous. In fact, everyone in the United States should have some sort of estate plan. This will help take care of you in your later years, and your loved ones after you are gone. Even for a small estate, probate can last 6-12 months. So some people choose to avoid getting the courts involved after the death of a loved one.

It is still wise to work with an experienced probate attorney. You still need to notify the courts of the death of a family member, but you may not have to go through the entire probate process. An attorney can guide you through the process of turning over all assets and answer any questions you may have along the way.

Do You Have Questions for A DuPage County Probate Attorney?

Are you an heir to a small estate and need the advice of a probate attorney? An Illinois probate lawyer can protect you and guide you in this process while giving you peace of mind. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties