Why You Don’t Want to Die Without a Will Like Chadwick Boseman Did

  • Wills
why you don't want to die without a will | estate and probate legal group

The movie industry and fans mourned Chadwick Boseman’s death in 2020. This “Black Panther” star passed away without a will, and many wondered what would happen to his assets. His estate was tied up in probate court for roughly two years before it was recently settled. This is an example of why you don’t want to die without a will.

According to the public court documents: Chadwick’s spouse received $1.5 million, his family received $1.5 million, the government received $1.5 million… and the probate court cost his loved ones roughly $900,000.

Don’t Die Without a Will

You don’t have to have to be famous or have millions to need a will. While the laws vary from state to state, your assets will be divided among your family if you die without a will in Illinois. But what if that’s not how you want your life-earned assets distributed? What if you have a long-term partner with who you want to keep the house and car?

There are a lot of reasons why you want a will in place when you pass away, here are just a few:

  • The courts probably won’t distribute your assets in the way you want. Did you know that your stepchildren will not receive any assets without a will? And loved ones who are not family will not receive what you promised them.
  • Probate courts will take at least 12 months before it’s settled. It is a lengthy process for your loved ones to notify the creditors, close all accounts, file tax returns and complete everything else that needs to be done. Creditors have 6 months from when the plan administrator notified them to file a claim against the estate, so it must remain open for at least that long.
  • If you pass without a will and have no heirs, the county where you resided will receive the estate, which might be alright unless you wanted to donate money to a cause you wished.
  • Unless you have a legal will, the state will decide who gets what. Without a will, the probate court will award your spouse half of your estate and the other half will be split equally among your children. Even if you wish to divide it differently.

Thankfully, everyone is able to have a will. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you with this task.

You don’t have to be famous or have millions to have a will. You have worked hard for everything you have and we can help you protect it.