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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53715
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My father died with-out a will - I am his only child-- he married

Customer Question

My father died with-out a will - I am his only child-- he married a woman with 2 children - she passed away 14 years ago! Only one of her sons are living... The gentle now wanting to take my fathers and all his belongings... He is of no kin to my father... He was not living with my Dad -- he thinks because my father was married to his mom -- that he has the right to my fathers stuff..
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.
Good morning Ann. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!
Expert:  Richard replied 5 months ago.
He has no legal right to any of your father's probate estate. When there is no will, then your dad is deemed to have died intestate and the intestate succession laws dictate who inherits the probate estate. Under the Illinois intestate succession laws, which I have provided you below, as the only child of a parent with no surviving spouse, you would inherit his entire probate estate. "(755 ILCS 5/2-1) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 2-1) Sec. 2-1. Rules of descent and distribution. The intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent, after all just claims against his estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as follows: (b) If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes. " It is important to realize that the foregoing relates to all your dad's probate estate. Certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by the intestate succession laws. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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