Intestate succession is when the law decides how to divide the estate of a person who dies without a will. The state of Illinois has a unique set of rules regarding intestate succession.

Any property within the deceased’s estate may be transferred to the heirs or spouse as long as the property was not disposed of by will. 

How Can the Surviving Spouse Receive Property by Intestate Succession?

The surviving spouse is entitled to receive at least $10,000 from the deceased, with an additional $5,000 for each child. This amount is guaranteed from the estate in order to support and maintain the family for nine months immediately after the death. In the event that there are no other heirs to the property, the entire estate goes to the suriviving spouse.

If a person dies without a will and leaves a spouse and other heirs, then the surviving spouse and heirs share the estate, with one half of the estate going to the spouse and the other half to the descendants. 

How Is the Estate Distributed When There Is No Surviving Spouse?

If the deceased is survived by children and no spouse, each child is granted $5,000 along with an additional sum of at least $10,000 to be divided equally among the children. This minimal amount is ordered by law in order to support each child for the period of nine months. If there are no children or surviving spouse, then the immediate family of the deceased is generally granted equal amounts of property in relation to the degree of their relationship with the decedent. 

Is the Immediate Family of the Deceased Treated Differently from other Descendants?

If there is no surviving spouse or descendant, but the deceased is surivived by a parent, brother, sister, or descendant of a brother or sister, then the estate is divided into equal parts and distributed to the immediate family. 

What Other Parties May Have an Interest in the Intestate Estate?

There are many parties that may have a share in an intestate estate besides the spouse, the deceased’s children, and the deceased’s immediate family. Some of these parties include:

  • Grandparents
  • Great-Grandparents
  • Step-Brother and Step-Sisters

Should I Seek an Illinois Attorney for an Intestate Estate?

An estate lawyer in Illinois will be able to assist you in the various conditions and concerns pertinent to your inheritance.