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Per Stirpes Distribution in Illinois Estate Execution

 Posted on May 08, 2012 in Estate Execution

Per Stirpes is the default method of dividing up a deceased person's estate in Illinois, if the deceased dies without having a will.  Per stripes is based on each branch of his or her heirs.  The estate is then divided equally according to the number of children that the deceased person has.

For example, if Mary dies without a surviving spouse and has two children, each will get an equal amount of money from her estate. If one of her children has predeceased her, and has three living children, each of the three will split that portion of the child's inheritance.  If any of the three have children, grandchildren or great- grandchildren, then the half that would've gone to the deceased child will be split evenly amongst them.

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.  Say one child has numerous children and great-grandchildren, which would mean each could receive a small amount from the estate.  In other cases, if the deceased is estranged from their 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, it is important to consult an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney to draft the pertinent estate planning documents.

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