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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9912
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My children's father died last week at age 68. He lived in

Customer Question

My children's father died last week at age 68. He lived in IL. He met a women 16 years ago and has lived with her most of that time. He married her in 2011 just 4 years ago. His children are 37 and 38. Neither are married or have children. One lives in AZ the other in CA. His wife told them there is no will. She gave them a box of old family photos and said they could have 6 beer steins that belonged to him. The wife and their deceased father own a home and have a couple of cars. She did not disclose any savings or retirement funds. Are the children entitled to anything other than the family photos?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry for your family's loss; one moment please as I look into this for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

When a party dies without a will, this is called "intestate" and the property passes via the laws of intestate succession, in most instances. Exceptions to this would include the following:

property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship;

pay on death/transfer on death bank and brokerage accounts;

life insurance proceeds payable to a beneficiary.

In those instances, the property passes by operation of law to the named individual.

For other property not addressed in a will, the property passes according to the statutory "next of kin" as detailed in the relevant intestate succession statute.

According to the laws of intestate succession in IL, when there is a surviving spouse and descendants (ie children) of the decedent, the surviving spouse inherits 1/2 of the property that goes via the laws of intestate succession, and the children would inherit the other 1/2.

That statute is accessible here

All estates require probate (unless there is a trust, and all the property passed via the trust; then the trustee administers the estate).

In IL, there is a small estate procedure for estates under $100,000. All probate filings are public record, so the heirs can contact the court clerk and obtain a copy of any probate filings to date.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Information on probate here

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any questions on the above?

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

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