Putting off the creation of a last will is a very common behavior, and most people don’t want to really think about their own death. Many people will choose to wait until they’re ready to retire or even later in life before they sit down to create an estate plan.
Unfortunately, procrastinating in this area can leave you and the people you love and a position where there could be financial consequences. Dying without a last will means that you don’t have control over who gets what when you die. That can be very problematic, especially if there aren’t legal or biological connections between you and the people you would like to have inherit your assets.
How Illinois handles intestate succession
When you die without having a last will on record, the state says that you have died intestate. Illinois has very specific rules regarding the allocation of your assets in this exact situation. Only those with a relationship to you through blood, adoption or marriage are likely to receive anything from your estate if you die without a last will.
Those with the closest relationships, often your spouse or children, will have primary inheritance rights. Other family members, including your parents or siblings, will inherit from your estate if you don’t have a spouse or children. If you don’t have any direct biological relatives, the state may eventually inherit what you leave behind.
Creating a last will allows you to designate specific beneficiaries for your most valued assets and to control your legacy instead of leaving it in the hands of the Illinois probate courts.