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I. Introduction

Spousal inheritance rights refer to the legal rights of a surviving spouse to inherit property and assets from a deceased spouse. Zeidman & Carpenter PLLC is a boutique law firm that specializes in estate planning and can help you plan for your future and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at spousal inheritance rights in Illinois, including what a spouse is entitled to, and whether inheritance money is protected.

II. Spousal Inheritance Rights in Illinois

Illinois has specific laws that govern inheritance, including spousal inheritance rights. In general, a surviving spouse has the right to inherit a portion of the deceased spouse’s property and assets, unless there is a valid will or trust  that specifies otherwise. If there is no will, the surviving spouse’s share of the inheritance will be determined by Illinois intestacy laws.

III. How Much is a Spouse Entitled to when their Spouse Dies Without a Will in Illinois?

If a spouse dies without a will in Illinois, the surviving spouse is entitled to inherit a portion of their property and assets. Specifically, the surviving spouse is entitled to:

  • The entire estate if the spouse had no children or descendants
  • If there are children or descendants: 1/2 of the remaining estate to the spouse and ½ to the children or descendants

Can a Spouse be Excluded from a Will in Illinois?

VI. Can a Spouse be Excluded from a Will in Illinois?

In general, a spouse cannot be completely disinherited in Illinois. However, there are certain circumstances in which a spouse may be excluded, such as if there is a prenuptial agreement or a trust. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your wishes are properly reflected in your will and that all legal requirements are met.

VII. Is Inheritance Money Protected in a Marriage?

Inheritance money is generally considered separate property in a marriage and is not subject to division in the event of a divorce. However, if inheritance money is commingled with marital property, it may become subject to division in a divorce. It is important to speak with an attorney about how to properly protect your inheritance in a marriage.

VIII. Conclusion

Spousal inheritance rights are an important consideration in estate planning and inheritance planning. It is important to understand your rights and obligations under Illinois law and to seek legal advice to ensure that your wishes are properly reflected in your will. Zeidman & Carpenter PLLC can assist you with your estate planning needs and help ensure that your family is protected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step in securing your future.