What to Expect If Your Loved One Dies Without a Will in Wood River, IL
When a loved one passes it is always a terrible ordeal that you have to deal with throughout your life. If your loved one passes without a will, the process of managing their final affairs only adds more stress to the situation. Without a will, this person is considered to have died “intestate”. In Wood River, IL, intestacy laws determine how a person’s property and debt are distributed after their death when a valid will is not present.
Laws of Intestate Succession When No Valid Will Exists
There are rules regarding how a deceased person’s property should be split up among their surviving relatives. This process is intestate succession. When a single person who has no children passes away, their estate will go to either their parents or siblings. If that person has no living siblings or parents, then their estate goes to nephews or nieces or some distant relatives. When a person who is unmarried with children passes, their estate will go to their children. If a married person passes away, usually their spouse receives the part of the estate which is considered to be marital property. Unfortunately, unmarried couples do not have any legal rights to their partner’s property and may not receive anything if their partner passes away without a will.
The word probate refers to a formal process for gathering someone who passes assets and distributing them to their heirs. When there is no will present, or the will is invalidated, a probate court will have to determine how the debt and property are distributed. There is an administrator that is called the executor of the estate and they will be appointed and will be responsible for several duties including:
- Valuating the deceased person’s property.
- Determining which county probate will take place In.
- Informing family & friends of the death.
- Bringing a copy of the death certificate to the county courthouse.
- Filing a petition for Lets of Administration.
- Carrying out the court’s instructions regarding the disposition of their estate.
Everyone Needs A Will
Having a will in place when someone passes helps determine how their property is properly distributed upon their death. The probate process is easier and shorter if there is a valid will already present. Many people make the mistake of assuming that only people who are sick or elderly need to create a will, when in fact that is not true. No matter their age, health status, and wealth, everyone should have a will or other estate planning tool in place.
If you need help creating an estate plan, give our team at Diaz Law Offices a call today!