5320 West 159th St, Suite 501, Oak Forest, IL 60452
Estate Planning Common Questions
Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions
No one really dies without an estate plan. We all have an estate plan, which is provided by statute. Illinois intestacy statutes mandate how and to whom our assets are to be distributed when we die without an estate plan. Illinois has set out a standardized line of succession that determines what relatives receive a portion of your estate. If you are married with children, your estate does not necessarily pass directly to your spouse. A portion may pass directly to your children which will require opening Guardianships on their behalf with the court.
Additionally, if minor children are left without a surviving parent, the court will be forced to appoint a Guardian for the minor children, without considering the wishes of the parents. The intestacy statute does not contemplate that a descendent may have wanted to make distributions to one relative more than another. Nor does the statute allow for any types of donations to charity. In fact, the statute rarely encompasses the true wishes of the decedent; in fact, it often imposes significant restrictions on the heirs and on the estate.
Additionally, Illinois legislation requires that the administrator of an intestate estate file a bond with a surety. This is a device to safeguard the assets of the estate from dissipation by the administrator. The practical effect of the bond requirement is the addition of another significant cost to the large amount of administration expenses incurred by the estate. Overall, a person without an Estate Plan will impose significant hardships on those that they care about and can severely dissipate the legacy they intended to leave for them.
Everyone who has any property or assets should have some type of Estate Plan. Anyone with minor children should strongly consider planning their estate and designating a Guardian for their children. Powers of Attorney for Health or Property can be especially useful in a medical emergency or in the case of an unexpected disability.
To ensure that you are being treated fairly and properly, contact us so we may help you and your family obtain all the benefits to which you are entitled.