Is my wife’s family entitled to any of her assets?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is my wife’s family entitled to any of her assets?

I’m in a same sex marriage and live in the state of Illinois. My wife is currently in home hospice and is declining rapidly. She does not have a will. She is currently on the mortgage and deed. I’m not on either the mortgage or deed but want to remain in my residence and continue to make the mortgage payments. I did take out a 401k loan for the down payment. If I decide to sell later what should I do and what kind of attorney do I need to contact if at all? What I’m afraid of is her family will try to take everything they can and it’s unfortunate that I’m thinking this but money is the root of all evil and I don’t want them to think they are entitled to come in my home to take what they want. She does have a pension which names me as beneficiary and 2 small life insurance policy which one gives a percentage to her sisters. Can they go after our home and belongings if she passes? I need some much needed advice. Please help

Asked on August 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  If there is no Will then your wife's assets will pass via the intestacy statute in Illinois.  If you are legally married - and same sex marriages were recognized in Illinois in 2013 - and there are no descendents (children, grandchildren) then you will inherit the entire estate.  The pension and life insuance pass outside the estate directly to the named benficiaries.  You can continue to pay the mortgage without worry until it is paid off.  The transfer to you via Executor's deed is not considered a sale and does not trigger the "dur on sale" clause of the mortgage.  You are fine there.  I would change the locks since it is your house anyway as soon as you can.  Good luck.

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