Do you ever ask yourself why it seems as though so many in Mokena are concerned about what you do with your money? Why else would people keep saying that you need to start considering your estate planning? Many come to us here at Zapolis & Associates, P.C. with the same question, and we typically offer the same answer: It is all about control. You will work for a majority of your adult life acquiring assets; imagine if the power to designate how they will be dispersed is taken away from you?
That is what happens if you die without a will. The legal term for not having a will is intestate, and the state has set up guidelines detailing how intestate estates are to be distributed. According to Section 2-1 of the state's Probate Act, they are as follows:
- If you have a surviving spouse but no descendants, your entire estate goes to him or her
- If you have a surviving spouse and surviving descendants, one half of your estate goes to your spouses, the other half in equal shares to your descendants
- If you have descendants but no surviving spouse, your entire goes to them in equal shares
If you have no surviving spouse or descendants, your estate goes to the surviving members of your family (parents, siblings and their descendants) in equal shares. If you have no such surviving relatives, one half of your estate goes to your paternal grandparents (or their descendants), while the other goes to the same parties on your maternal side. If you have no surviving kin, the proceeds of the sale or your estate property goes to the county you lived in at the time of your death.
More information on controlling your assets through estate planning can be found here on our site.