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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/4-14: Intestate Estate of Testator

One of the advantages of having a will is that you are able to bequeath all of the property that is in your estate to whomever you choose. In the absence of a will, your property will go to your heirs based on the rules of intestate succession. Similarly, if you have property that you fail to dispose of in your will, that property will be subject to intestacy rules. To ensure that your estate plan is designed so that all over your property goes to the beneficiaries of your choosing, speak to a Chicago intestate succession lawyer who will review your estate documents and help ensure that none of your property is subject to intestacy rules.

Intestate Estate of Testator

If someone passes away and leaves a will, that person would have died “testate.” His (or her) property will be distributed to his beneficiaries based on the terms of the will. On the other hand, if someone passes away without having left a will, that person would have died “intestate.” His property will be distributed to his legal heirs based on the rules of intestate succession.

Under the Illinois Probate, if you have property in your probate estate that is not disposed of in your will, then that property will be considered part of the intestate estate of testator.

Intestate Succession Rules

Under Illinois’ rules related to intestacy, if the decedent has a surviving spouse, and no descendants, then the spouse gets 100% of the intestate estate. If the decedent passes away leaving a surviving spouse as well as descendants, then 50% of the estate goes to the decedent’s descendants per stirpes and 50% goes to the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, but there are descendants, then the entire state goes to the descendants per stirpes.

If the decedent has no surviving spouse and no descendants, then his property goes to his parents and siblings. If one parent predeceased the decedent, then that parent’s share goes to the surviving parent. The next in line to inherit would be the decedent’s grandparents. After that the property goes to the paternal and maternal great grandparents and their descendants. As a Chicago intestate succession lawyer will explain, if the decedent has no living relatives, then the property escheats to the state.

Probate Property

Keep in mind that not all of your property is necessarily part of your probate estate. Your probate estate includes personal property such as clothing, jewelry, vehicles, and home furnishings. It may also include real estate and financial accounts. Other property owned by the decedent would not be part of the probate estate including 401(k) plans, proceeds from insurance policies, trust assets, payable on demand financial accounts, and real estate or other property held in joint tenancy.

If you have questions as to the status of your property, discuss your concerns with an experienced intestate succession lawyer in Chicago.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Descent and Distribution: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/2-1
  2. Children born out of wedlock: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/2-2
Illinois Probate Act, Section 4-14- Intestate Estate of Testator

The real and personal estate of a testator that is not bequeathed by his will descends and shall be distributed as intestate estate.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The best way to ensure that your property goes to the people of your choosing and avoids intestacy is to have a will. However, your will must be designed to cover all of the property in your probate estate. If you are concerned that your will may not cover all of the property in your estate, it is important that it is reviewed by someone with experience. The intestate succession attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing individuals, executors, beneficiaries, and heirs in estate matters. We can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that covers all of the property. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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