Many people put off conversations about estate planning for years, and understandably so. Conversations about end-of-life care, inheritance, and other sensitive topics around estate planning can be uncomfortable and sad for parents and children. Furthermore, many parents assume that if they do not write a will, their children will automatically inherit anything they have. If the family home is the single or most valuable possession they will pass on, they may assume the children will inherit it equally.
Unfortunately, this is not always true. Although making an estate plan can bring up unpleasant thoughts and feelings, putting it off or not doing it at all is a mistake for the parents and the children. If distributing your property after you pass away is important to you, it is essential to create an estate plan reflecting your wishes.
What Happens to a Home If There is No Will?
If one partner in a married couple passes away and there is no will, what happens next will depend on whether the deceased partner has any living descendants. If there are no children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, the surviving spouse inherits the full property of the deceased spouse. If there are living descendants and no will, the surviving spouse receives half of the deceased spouse’s inheritance, and the first line of living descendants (usually the deceased spouse’s children) will divide the other share. If there is only one parent alive and that parent passes away, the children inherit everything.
However, without a will, any property the deceased person owns must go through the probate process using only the state’s intestate laws as a guide. Probate can take a long time – sometimes several years – and frequently involves conflict between siblings, half-siblings, and even former spouses as the estate of the deceased person is administered. Having a will or trust in place can ensure that a parent’s wishes regarding the family home are respected and that conflict between inheriting parties is avoided or minimized.
Meet with a DuPage County, IL Estate Planning Attorney
We understand that providing for your children is at the forefront of many parents’ minds when they begin the estate planning process. Find out what you need to know about protecting your children’s future and inheritance by scheduling a free consultation with the Cook County, IL estate planning lawyers with [[title]]. Our family-friendly office is here to serve our community and we always strive to ensure our clients’ estate plans follow their personal preferences and family and cultural values. Call [[phone]] today to schedule a meeting in English or Polish.