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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/15-3: Allowance, Notice and Review of Award

As an experienced Chicago estate attorney will explain, one of the main reasons to carefully plan in advance is so that your wishes will be fulfilled after you pass away, and so that those you care about will be provided for. The concern for many is that in the absence of a will and other estate planning documents, their property will not end up in the hands of those they want to receive it, but to relatives identified according to the rules of intestate succession rules. However, regardless of whether or not you have a will, there are some rules that impact how your assets will be distributed. Two of these rules are the spouse’s award rule and the child’s award rule. To learn more about estate planning and the rules that may impact how your estate is distributed, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 15-3- Allowance, notice and review of award, contact a skilled Chicago estate attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Spouse’s Award and Child’s Award

Under Illinois law, upon the death of someone who was married, the surviving spouse is entitled to money from the decedent’s estate equal to what the court deems as appropriate for 9 months of proper support. The amount on the lifestyle that the surviving spouse is accustomed as well as well what is needed to support children of the decedent who lived with the surviving spouse at the time of the decedent’s death. Generally, a surviving spouse is entitled to receive a “spouse’s award” of $20,000, plus another $10,000 for each child. The money must be paid in no more than 3 installments during the 9 month period following the decedent’s death. If the surviving spouse dies during this 9 month period before receiving the full away, the remaining award will be paid to his or her estate.

If the decedent leaves an adult child who is likely to become dependent on public support, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive at least $5000. The money must be paid in no more than 3 installments during the 9 month period following the decedent’s death. If the surviving spouse dies or abandons an adult child before the award for the support of an adult child is paid in full, the amount unpaid shall be paid for the benefit of the adult child to such person as the court directs.

Under Illinois Probate Act, section 15-3- Allowance, notice and review of award, the surviving spouse, the representative, an heir or legatee, or a creditor of the estate, can petition the court to raise or lower the amount of the award as justice requires.

The decedent can prevent the surviving spouse from receiving a spouse’s award by expressly stating in his or her will that the provisions therein are in lieu of the award. However, as an experienced estate lawyer in Chicago can explain, the surviving spouse can renounce the will.

There are procedures that are related to the spousal or child award. The administrator must apply to the court to make the award when an award is allowable and is not waived or barred. The administrator must also mail or deliver a copy of the award to each person in whose favor the award is made, unless service is waived.

Like allowance for a surviving spouse, Illinois Probate Act also provides for an allowance for the children of a decedent. The children of the decedent, whether they are minors or adult children who do not live with the surviving spouse, are each eligible for a “child’s award” of $10,000 payable in the 9 month period following the decedent’s death. The court may award more based on what is reasonably needed for the child’s care.

In the absence of a surviving spouse, the children are entitled to $10,000 each plus an additional $20,000 that must be divided equally among the children. At its discretion the court may award more.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Spouse’s award: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/15-1
  2. Child’s award: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/15-2
  3. Selection: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/15-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 15-3- Allowance, Notice and Review of Award

(a) The representative shall apply to the court to make the award when an award is allowable and is not waived or barred, and when an award is allowed, shall mail or deliver a copy of the award to each person in whose favor the award is made, unless service is waived.
(b) On petition of the surviving spouse, the representative, an heir or legatee, or a creditor of the estate, the court may hear evidence and may increase or diminish the award as justice requires.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

To learn more about the rules related to the spouse’s award or the child’s award, contact an attorney with experience. The skilled estate attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in Illinois estate matters. We are here to make sure you understand your rights under Illinois Probate Act, section 15-3- Allowance, notice and review of award. Contact an attorney in our office attorneys at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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