Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Relationships & the Law Today: Importance of estate planning
by Christopher S. Hopkins, Esq.
2015-09-16

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Did you know that all adult residents of Illinois have a will? So long as you are a resident of and maintain assets in Illinois, should you die without a will, the Illinois legislature has already determined who receives your real and personal estate. Depending on the relationship and legal status of your family, however, without a formal will directing how your assets are distributed, those you care most about may not be the ones receiving your assets upon your death. Because of the unique circumstances and relationships within the LGBT community, it may be particularly important to establish an estate plan to ensure financial security for those that depend on you.

In Illinois, the intestacy statute ( 755 ILCS 5/2-1 ) is a law that directs who receives what portion of a person's assets when that person dies without a will. The most frequently relevant sections of the intestacy law establish that when someone dies without a will, and they had a spouse and descendants ( biological or legally adopted children ), one-half of the deceased's estate goes to the surviving spouse while the other half is split evenly among the surviving descendant( s ). If the same person dies without a surviving spouse but only descendants, their entire estate is split evenly among the surviving descendant( s ).

Similarly, if that person died with a surviving spouse but no descendants, their entire estate would pass to their surviving spouse. Importantly, when an Illinois resident dies without a surviving spouse or descendants, their entire estate passes to their surviving siblings and parents, and a double share if only one parent.

While the distribution system established by the intestacy law may sound reasonable, a few examples may highlight how your relationships and their legal statuses can determine who is entitled to your assets if you died without a will.

Consider the hypothetical couple John and Brett, who long ago decided not to marry. John and Brett are in the process of raising two daughters, Sarah and Anne. John legally adopted Sarah and Anne and raises both while Brett works full time to support their family. Brett has two sisters and two brothers. Neither John nor Brett have a will. One day, when Brett unexpectedly passes away, John consults with an attorney to determine how to go about receiving Brett's assets. Unfortunately for John, because he and Brett never married and are not parties to a civil union, John is not Brett's "surviving spouse" for purposes of the Illinois intestacy law. Additionally, because Brett never adopted Sarah or Anne, neither are Brett's surviving descendants. Reluctantly, the attorney explains that because Brett died without will, no surviving spouse, and no descendants, the entirety of Brett's estate passes to Brett's surviving siblings and parents instead of John, Sarah, or Anne.

While marriage and adoption may both be viable solutions to address the above issues, both come with significant responsibilities and obligations. Instead, an experienced estate planning attorney can ensure that those you care most about will be provided for in the event of an unexpected death. Estate planning is a very personal process and an important part of planning for you as well as your family and loved ones. If you are interested in learning more about how to ensure financial security for you and your family, please feel free to contact any of Clark Hill's experienced estate planning attorneys.

Christopher S. Hopkins is an associate in the litigation practice group at Clark Hill PLC. Christopher helps individuals, families and closely held business owners plan for and resolve difficult transitions of wealth, businesses, and real property.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Police questioning people of interest in Jussie Smollett case (UPDATE) 2019-02-14 - Chicago authorities are questioning two people of interest who were seen on surveillance cameras in the area where openly gay Empire actor Jussie ...


Gay News

After landmark decision, ABA issues guidance for judges performing same-sex marriages 2019-02-14 - CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2019 — The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released today a formal opinion giving judges ...


Gay News

WORLD Alan Turing, Mexico murder, 'Boy Erased' 2019-02-13 - The late Brit Alan Turing—known as the father of the modern computer—was recently named the greatest person of the 20th century during BBC's ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans military ban, Black icons, Edie Windsor, trans art exhibit 2019-02-13 - A high-ranking officer in the California National Guard said that the group will not comply with Donald Trump's transgender military ban, LGBTQ Nation ...


Gay News

HRC urges Congress to pass FAMILY Act 2019-02-13 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) called on Congress to advance the FAMILY Act—a measure the organization called critically important legislation that ...


Gay News

Congressional resolution for open trans military service put forward, groups comment 2019-02-11 - WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Joe Kennedy III ( D-MA,4 ) led efforts for a resolution opposing President Trump's ban on openly transgender service ...


Gay News

Gay Van Dyke juror talks ex-officer's sentencing 2019-02-11 - Will Harpest—a gay man who this past fall sat on the jury that convicted Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke of the 2014 ...


Gay News

Film on Chicago trans woman running Feb. 19 2019-02-10 - The ACLU of Illinois, Pride Action Tank and the Transformative Justice Law Project are hosting a special screening of Chicago Love, from the ...


Gay News

Trans military item to be heard Feb. 19 2019-02-09 - A public hearing involving a resolution about President Trump's anti-transgender military ban is slated to go before the Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, ...


Gay News

Canadian serial killer gets life sentence 2019-02-08 - Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur, 67, received a life sentence for murdering eight men—some of them close friends, BBC.com reported. Most of his ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.