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BCTysa

My Mother Needs Legal Info

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My mother needs information about what happens if my father, her husband, has made no legal will. Does she automatically become executer of his estate and automatically inherit his estate as his "Closest Next of Kin?"

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No.  Without a will, if probate is necessary, then she would have to petition the court to appointed executrix of the estate.  If they own a home and it's held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, the house becomes hers outside of the estate by operation of law.  Without a will, if there are children of the decedent, the property of the estate would be divided 1/2 to the surviving spouse and the other 1/2 to the descendants of the decedent per stirpes.

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15 hours ago, BCTysa said:

My mother needs information about what happens if my father, her husband, has made no legal will.

 

If your father dies without a valid will, then the distribution of his estate will be dictated by Illinois's intestate succession law (keep in mind that not everything he owns will necessarily be part of his estate).  In a nutshell, the surviving spouse would inherit half of the estate and surviving descendants would inherit the other half of the estate.

 

 

15 hours ago, BCTysa said:

Does she automatically become executer of his estate and automatically inherit his estate as his "Closest Next of Kin?"

 

No and no.

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Hi @BCTysa

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Check out this article about what happens when people die without wills. However, generally it is a benefit to avoid probate, which is costly and time-consuming. While your parents are still alive, they may want to consider setting up a living trust, so that upon their death their estate is divided and no probate is needed. If they want to speak with an estate planning attorney, you can find many qualified ones in the FindLaw Lawyer Directory.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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