What will happen to my grandmother’s home and belongings in the event that she dies without a Will?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What will happen to my grandmother’s home and belongings in the event that she dies without a Will?

You see, she seems to be in denial that she will die, so although she is in her 80’s she has still not made out a proper Will. Her oldest of 4 daughters daughter is a bit of a snake and has already stolen the belongings of another deceased family member who died without a Will, so my family is worried this will happen again to

our most important family member with the most nostalgic memorabilia. Since her husband died years ago, is her next of kin her oldest daughter or will her estate it be split among other family members? Do we decide for


Asked on August 4, 2019 under Estate Planning, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies "intestate", that means they died without a Will. Accordingly, the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domiciled when they died will control. In this case, your grandother's heirs will be her chilren, if they survive her. If not, then her grandchildren will inherit. If one of her children survives her and another does not, then the surviving child gets their full share and the children of the deceased sibling (their parent) split that share.`

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