Anyone old enough to have a spouse, a home, children and/or significant personal property should probably have an estate plan or at least a will. However, a lot of people put off the process because the probate courts can at disburse their property if they die without a will.
Intestate succession is the way that the probate courts distribute property when someone doesn’t leave a will. Intestate succession laws are in place to try to ensure that people’s assets go to those that are closest to them. However, the structure of these laws in Illinois makes it quite important for LGBTQ individuals to be proactive about estate planning.
Without an estate plan, you might leave the ones you love with nothing
If you have not married your romantic partner or if you don’t intend to marry, the people whom you are closest to might not receive anything when you die. In fact, if the house you live in is in your name, your loved one could lose their home after your death. That is because intestate succession laws favor biological family and spouses.
If you are not married and have no children, your parents or siblings will be the ones to inherit your property when you die. Given that roughly 39% of people in the LGBTQ community report being rejected by family members and close friends when they came out, there is a decent chance that at least some members of your biological family haven’t been there for you during your life.
Creating a will is crucial, especially for those who have faced rejection and alienation from their biological family. Making an estate plan means that you can protect the people that you love – whether they are biological family members or not.