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What Happens When You Pass Away Without a Will?

 Posted on August 21, 2019 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning attorneysThere are almost countless ways that drafting a last will and testament can benefit you and your loved ones. With that in mind, it may surprise you to learn that only about 40 percent of Americans currently have a will or other estate planning document in place.

There are many reasons that people choose not to create a will. Some may not understand exactly what the purpose of a will is. Others may inaccurately assume that only wealthy people need a will. Perhaps the biggest reason that people procrastinate estate planning is because it deals with what happens if they become incapacitated or pass away. Although it can be an uncomfortable subject to consider, it is very important for everyone to have a will – regardless of wealth or age. When someone dies without a will, it is often their surviving loved ones who are most negatively affected.

You Relinquish Control Over Significant Financial and Personal Decisions

Even if you are not wealthy, you still own property and items which have value to you. Drafting a will allows you to decide how property, including sentimental items or family heirlooms, is divided among heirs. Without a will, your property is assigned to heirs according to Illinois state laws regarding intestate succession. It is very unlikely that the items most important to you will end up with the individuals you wanted them to unless you specify this in a will, trust, or other estate planning document. If you pass away without a will, your surviving loved ones will be forced to guess how you wanted your property to be distributed. This can be especially burdensome for people who are grieving a loss.

You Lose the Opportunity to Choose a Guardian for Minor Children  

If you are a parent, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about your children’s well-being. Have you ever considered what would happen if you passed away before your children were adults? Although it can be difficult to think about, parents should always have a plan for who should raise their children should both parents pass away.

In a will, you have the opportunity to designate a guardian for your minor children for exactly this purpose. Naming a guardian in your will means that if anything happens to you and your child’s other parent, you can rest assured that your children’s guardian will be chosen by you, not the state.

Contact an Arlington Heights Will and Trust Attorney

For more information about drafting a will, contact a Lombard, Illinois estate planning lawyer from A. Traub & Associates. We will discuss your situation and help you understand what types of estate planning tools will best help you achieve your goals. Call us today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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