Scottsdale, AZ asked in Estate Planning for Illinois

Q: Regarding a small estate divided equally to 7 children

My mother passed and the money has been dispersed to her surviving children equally. Her house is still for sale. If one of her children die before the house is sold does that share go back to the 6 remaining siblings or the the estate of the sibling that passed. My sister and I have been arguing about this, I say that my mother is dead and that it stays with the sibling no matter what happens. She thinks it should go back to the remaining siblings. Please settle this for us. Many thanks.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Andrew John Hawes
Andrew John Hawes
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Niles, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: The distribution is determined upon the decedent's date of death, not whether one of the children dies after the decedent dies.

Was there a will? If there was a will, then the will controls what happens and likely addresses this situation. If there was not a will, then Illinois intestacy law applies. The law provides that "If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes." An estate of a decedent is distributed per stirpes, if each "branch" of the family is to receive an equal share of an estate. When the heir in the first generation of a branch predeceased the decedent, the share that would have been given to the heir would be distributed among the heir's children in equal shares. In other words the deceased child's share should go to their estate, not back to your mother's estate.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.