A guide to Illinois probate laws.
Yes, but unless there are two other disinterested witnesses the inheritance may be void.
Illinois does not explicitly forbid handwritten wills (called “holographic wills” when not signed by witnesses). A handwritten will may be permitted, but it must be signed and witnessed properly.
No, Illinois is not a community property state.
In a community property state, each spouse has an equal share of property acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage is considered separate property.
In Illinois, when there is no will, the court will determine who receives the deceased's assets and property based on the laws of intestate succession. (It’s a scary thought: having the courts decide what happens to your things. That’s why we made it easy to create a will. Download the Policygenius app to get started.)
This is how much a surviving spouse receives in a few different circumstances:
|If the decedent is survived by a spouse and:||Surviving spouse's share|
|Children from the surviving spouse or someone else||1/2 of the intestate estate|
When there is no surviving spouse, then the intestate estate will pass along in the following order:
For someone to receive the estate, there must not be anyone left in the category above them. Keep in mind that if an inheritor is dead, then their share typically passes to their child by order of per stirpes.
Before the testator’s death, a will may be filed with the court for safekeeping. After the testator’s death, the executor must file the will in the county where the decedent resided within 30 days after being made aware of their nomination as executor.
In Illinois, estates can be administered without court procedure using a small estate affidavit whether or not the decedent had a will when:
Don’t live in Illinois? Learn how to make a will in your state.
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About the author
Elissa is a personal finance editor at Policygenius in New York City. She writes about estate planning, mortgages, and occasionally health insurance. In the past she has written about film and music.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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