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.
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.
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