Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

What happens when there is no will or trust in place?

It is best for your heirs and your own peace of mind if you make plans for your estate prior to your death. This is called estate planning, and you can make these arrangements in Hoffman Estates with your attorney.

Estate Planning in Schaumburg

People who die without a will or trust in place are said to have died “intestate”. This means that the laws of your state will make decisions about how your property is distributed, regardless of what your intentions might have been. A lot will depend on whether you were single or married at the time of your death and whether or not you have children.

What to Expect When One Dies "Intestate"

  • If you were single and have surviving children, your entire estate will generally go to them. Assets will be divided equally.
  • If you were single and had no children, your parents and siblings would likely inherit everything.
  • If you were single and neither parent is alive, your estate might go to siblings, descendants of siblings, and so on, as determined by the court.
  • If you are married and you die without a will, what your spouse gets depends on whether or not you have living descendants -- children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. If you don’t, then your spouse inherits all of your intestate property. If you do, they and your spouse will share your intestate property 50/50.
  • Unmarried couples do not inherit the property of their partner without a will in place because the laws only recognize relatives or married couples.
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