Facebook Twitter Our Blog
Anderson and Associates, P.C.

Free Initial Consultation


What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Naperville estate planning lawyer

Wills are important legal documents which lay out your wishes for after you pass away. While everyone should have a will to make sure their wishes are carried out after death, many adults do not have one, which can cause legal issues. The most common elements to include in a last will and testament are your financial accounts, personal assets, property you may own, inheritances or plans for your children, investments, and assets related to your business. If no will is made, and an individual dies, the government often has to step in.

Wills and Estates Law

When a person dies and does not have a last will and testament, their estate goes to the members of their family through a procedure known as intestate succession. The government distributes the estate of the recently deceased to their spouse or any direct heirs. However, before that process occurs, financial debts must be settled.

Illinois lays out the process for the intestate succession as follows:

  • If the deceased has a spouse and children, half the estate goes to the children and the other half is given to the spouse.
  • If the deceased was married but their spouse passed away previously, the estate will go to entirely to the children.
  • If the deceased was married and does not have any children, the spouse will receive the entire estate. 
  • The estate will pass to family such as parents or siblings of the deceased if the deceased has no living spouse or children.

Usually, most estate matters are cleared up at that point, but it is sometimes necessary to continue in the succession process. If that becomes necessary, it will continue on to the more distant family, like grandmother and grandfather, aunts or uncles, and cousins. If the deceased does not have any known family, the estate is passed to the county it is based in. Large personal items like boats or vehicles are passed on to the county the deceased lived in, or the county the assets are located in if the deceased did not live in Illinois. The state and state treasurer of Illinois would then receive the rest of the property of a personal nature the deceased was in possession of. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

Making sure your assets are handled properly after your death is something everyone should do. The skilled and knowledgeable lawyers at Anderson & Associates, P.C. know how to work through the complexities of estate planning cases. To speak with our resourceful DuPage County estate planning lawyers, contact us today for a free initial consultation at 630-653-9400.




Chicago Bar Association DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association
Wheaton Office
Downers Grove Office
Schaumburg Office
Orland Park Office
Chicago Office
Back to Top