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Per Stirpes Distribution in Illinois Estate Execution

In Illinois, Per Stirpes is the default method of dividing up a deceased person’s estate if the deceased dies without having a will. Per Stirpes divides equally the deceased’s estate to his heirs.

For instance, a father with two children and no surviving spouse passes away. Each child will get an equal amount of money from the deceased father’s estate. Now, assume that same father had a daughter that had predeceased him, and she has three living children (his grandchildren). Each of those three grandchildren split that portion of their mother’s inheritance from her deceased father. The other two surviving children of the father will again each get an equal amount of money, this time just a third of the estate. The complexity of Per Stirpes distribution increases as we begin to deal with more and more generations.

This method was created to allow each branch of a person’s family to inherit equally without playing favorites at the time of dividing up an estate. In many estate execution cases in Illinois, this is a fair and equitable method of dividing up an estate. If Per Stirpes is used, then it means that one or more of the original heirs (in the original generation) to an estate has predeceased the person whose estate is being divided.

In some cases, however, this method of distribution of assets is not desirable. If one child has numerous children and great-grandchildren, it would mean each could receive a small amount from the estate. In other cases, if the deceased is estranged from his child and the child’s descendants and wishes for none of them to inherit a portion of the estate, without a will, the grandchildren of the disinherited branch will receive an equal amount of the estate according to Illinois probate laws.

To ensure that your estate is divided according to your wishes, we greatly recommend you consult an experienced attorney at Grant Park Legal Advisors.          

ESTATES
(755 ILCS 5/) Probate Act of 1975.

ARTICLE II

DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION

    (755 ILCS 5/2-1) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 2-1)
    Sec. 2-1. Rules of descent and distribution. The intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent, after all just claims against his estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as follows:
    (a) If there is a surviving spouse and also a descendant of the decedent: 1/2 of the entire estate to the surviving spouse and 1/2 to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.
    (b) If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.
    (c) If there is a surviving spouse but no descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
    (d) If there is no surviving spouse or descendant but a parent, brother, sister or descendant of a brother or sister of the decedent: the entire estate to the parents, brothers and sisters of the decedent in equal parts, allowing to the surviving parent if one is dead a double portion and to the descendants of a deceased brother or sister per stirpes the portion which the deceased brother or sister would have taken if living.
    (e) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister or descendant of a brother or sister of the decedent but a grandparent or descendant of a grandparent of the decedent: (1) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's maternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes, and (2) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's paternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving paternal grandparent or descendant of a paternal grandparent, but a maternal grandparent or descendant of a maternal grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's maternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving maternal grandparent or descendant of a maternal grandparent, but a paternal grandparent or descendant of a paternal grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's paternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.
    (f) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister, descendant of a brother or sister or grandparent or descendant of a grandparent of the decedent: (1) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's maternal great-grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes, and (2) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's paternal great-grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving paternal great-grandparent or descendant of a paternal great-grandparent, but a maternal great-grandparent or descendant of a maternal great-grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's maternal great-grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving maternal great-grandparent or descendant of a maternal great-grandparent, but a paternal great-grandparent or descendant of a paternal great-grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's paternal great-grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.
    (g) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister, descendant of a brother or sister, grandparent, descendant of a grandparent, great-grandparent or descendant of a great-grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate in equal parts to the nearest kindred of the decedent in equal degree (computing by the rules of the civil law) and without representation.
    (h) If there is no surviving spouse and no known kindred of the decedent: the real estate escheats to the county in which it is located; the personal estate physically located within this State and the personal estate physically located or held outside this State which is the subject of ancillary administration of an estate being administered within this State escheats to the county of which the decedent was a resident, or, if the decedent was not a resident of this State, to the county in which it is located; all other personal property of the decedent of every class and character, wherever situate, or the proceeds thereof, shall escheat to this State and be delivered to the State Treasurer pursuant to the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.
    In no case is there any distinction between the kindred of the whole and the half blood.
(Source: P.A. 100-22, eff. 1-1-18.)


    (755 ILCS 5/2-2) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 2-2)
    Sec. 2-2. Children born out of wedlock. The intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as provided in Section 2-1, subject to Section 2-6.5 of this Act, if both parents are eligible parents. As used in this Section, "eligible parent" means a parent of the decedent who, during the decedent's lifetime, acknowledged the decedent as the parent's child, established a parental relationship with the decedent, and supported the decedent as the parent's child. "Eligible parents" who are in arrears of in excess of one year's child support obligations shall not receive any property benefit or other interest of the decedent unless and until a court of competent jurisdiction makes a determination as to the effect on the deceased of the arrearage and allows a reduced benefit. In no event shall the reduction of the benefit or other interest be less than the amount of child support owed for the support of the decedent at the time of death. The court's considerations shall include but are not limited to the considerations in subsections (1) through (3) of Section 2-6.5 of this Act.
    If neither parent is an eligible parent, the intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his or her estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as provided in Section 2-1, but the parents of the decedent shall be treated as having predeceased the decedent.
    If only one parent is an eligible parent, the intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his or her estate are fully paid, subject to Section 2-6.5 of this Act, descends and shall be distributed as follows:
    (a) If there is a surviving spouse and also a descendant of the decedent: 1/2 of the entire estate to the surviving spouse and 1/2 to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.
    (b) If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.
    (c) If there is a surviving spouse but no descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
    (d) If there is no surviving spouse or descendant but the eligible parent or a descendant of the eligible parent of the decedent: the entire estate to the eligible parent and the eligible parent's descendants, allowing 1/2 to the eligible parent and 1/2 to the eligible parent's descendants per stirpes.
    (e) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, eligible parent, or descendant of the eligible parent of the decedent, but a grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family or descendant of such grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's grandparents on the eligible parent's side of the family in equal parts, or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.
    (f) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, eligible parent, descendant of the eligible parent, grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family, or descendant of such grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's great-grandparents on the eligible parent's side of the family in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.



 

 

 

 

 



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