The answer to this question depends on how the property is titled.  So let’s go through the possibilities.

            If the property (say real estate or a bank account) is titled solely in your name, the property will pass in probate.  At your death, a probate estate will be opened and all of the property that you owned in your name alone will be transferred under the rules of intestate distribution if you did not have a will (or your original will could not be found or your will failed to meet the standards for a will in the state of your residence) or under the terms of your will, if admitted to probate.

            If your will was properly executed and the original was found and filed with the clerk of the court, then your property will go to your beneficiaries under the will.

            If you did not leave a will, then the property will pass under the laws of “intestate distribution”.  Intestate means that you died without a will.  The rules of intestate distribution are set forth in the Illinois statute and are very detailed and would take too many words to describe here.

            If you do not want a trust, you should definitely have a will and provide a process where the will can be found and admitted to probate.


    Subscribe for news & resources about estate planning.