Dismissible Notices Handler Error: The library can not be used because your version of PHP is too old. You need version 5.5 at least.
WP Review Me Error: The library can not be used because your version of PHP is too old. You need version 5.5 at least.
Charles T. Newland Illinois Estate Attorney | Intestate | Dying With No Will
Newland Law Centers, LLC
Services available in
Cook and Lake County

Experienced, Quality and Caring Representation.

Dying Intestate in Illinois

Our Practice Areas

Dying Intestate in Illinois

Written by Charles Newland on . Posted in Probate and Estate Planning

A sick old person, estate planningWhen an Illinois resident dies without establishing a will, the State of Illinois will provide an “estate plan” for the deceased. Unfortunately, the state’s plan for asset distribution may not always coincide with the wishes of the deceased. When a will or other estate planning documents are absent upon an individual’s death, it is referred to as the person having died “intestate”. Upon an intestate death, the deceased’s property is passed to his or her heirs under the Illinois intestacy succession laws.

Intestacy Succession Laws in Illinois

The distribution of assets is decided as follows under Illinois intestacy succession laws.

  • Spouse and Descendants: The surviving spouse will receive half of the deceased’s estate and the remaining half will be split between the descendants.
  • Spouse and No Descendants: The surviving spouse will inherit the deceased’s estate in its entirety.
  • Descendants and No Spouse: The estate will be equally divided among the descendants.

When a child passes away before the deceased, that child’s share is divided equally between his or her surviving children. When there is no spouse or surviving children or grandchildren, the estate is then passed on to parents, siblings, and other relatives. If the deceased is not survived by any family members, the estate will pass to the State of Illinois.

Possible Negative Consequences of Dying Intestate in Illinois

The state’s “one-size-fits-all” laws of intestacy do not adequately account for unique family circumstances. For unmarried couples and people with minor children, dying without an estate plan can result in unacceptable consequences.

  • Unmarried Couples: Under the Illinois intestacy succession laws, unmarried partners have absolutely no legal rights to an estate. With no will, lifetime partners are often disinherited completely while estranged blood relatives are awarded the assets of the deceased.
  • Minor Children: When a parent of a minor child dies intestate in Illinois, and no other parent is surviving, any competent adult may petition the court for guardianship. While the judge has the discretion to appoint a guardian for minor children of deceased parents, he or she has no way of knowing about the deceased’s wished concerning the care of his or her children.

Unfortunately, countless Illinois residents die every year without consulting with an estate attorney or preparing an estate plan. As a result, assets are not distributed as wished, children are raised by court appointed guardians, and surviving family members spend years trying to adequately settle matters in court.


Trackback from your site.

Free Consultation

We represent clients in Arlington Heights, Chicago, the Northwest Suburbs, and Lake County. Contact our office at (847)797-9300 to schedule a free consultation.

Cook County OFFICE

3601 W Algonquin RD, STE 990
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008


728 Florsheim Dr
Libertyville, Illinois 60048


Phone: (847) 797-9300
Fax: (847) 797-9301