Estate Planning

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Iowa, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Iowa has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Iowa intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Rules of descent

The estate of a person dying intestate shall descend as provided in sections 633.211 to 633.226.

Iowa Intestacy Laws - Iowa Code, 633.210

 

Share of surviving spouse if decedent left no issue or left issue all of whom are issue of surviving spouse

If the decedent dies intestate leaving a surviving spouse and leaving no issue or leaving issue all of whom are the issue of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:

1. All the value of all the legal or equitable estates in real property possessed by the decedent at any time during the marriage, which have not been sold on execution or by other judicial sale, and to which the surviving spouse has made no relinquishment of right.

2. All personal property that, at the time of death, was, in the hands of the decedent as the head of a family, exempt from execution.

3. All other personal property of the decedent which is not necessary for the payment of debts and charges.

Iowa Intestacy Laws - Iowa Code, 633.211

 

Share of surviving spouse if decedent left issue some of whom are not issue of surviving spouse

If the decedent dies intestate leaving a surviving spouse and leaving issue some of whom are not the issue of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:

1. One–half in value of all the legal or equitable estates in real property possessed by the decedent at any time during the marriage, which have not been sold on execution or by other judicial sale, and to which the surviving spouse has made no relinquishment of right.

2. All personal property that, at the time of death, was in the hands of the decedent as the head of a family, exempt from execution.

3. One–half of all other personal property of the decedent which is not necessary for the payment of debts and charges.

4. If the property received by the surviving spouse under subsections 1, 2 and 3 of this section is not equal in value to the sum of fifty thousand dollars, then so much additional of any remaining homestead interest and of the remaining real and personal property of the decedent that is subject to payment of debts and charges against the decedent's estate, after payment of the debts and charges, even to the extent of the whole of the net estate, as necessary to make the amount of fifty thousand dollars.

Iowa Intestacy Laws - Iowa Code, 633.212

 

Share of others than surviving spouse

The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, the entire net estate passes as follows:

1. To the issue of the decedent per stirpes.

2. If there is no surviving issue, to the parents of the decedent equally; and if either parent is dead, the portion that would have gone to such deceased parent shall go to the survivor.

3. If there is no person to take under either subsection 1 or 2 of this section, the estate shall be divided and set aside into two equal shares. One share shall be distributed to the issue of the decedent's mother per stirpes and one share shall be distributed to the issue of the decedent's father per stirpes. If there are no surviving issue of one deceased parent, the entire estate passes to the issue of the other deceased parent in accordance with this subsection.

4. If there is no person to take under subsection 1, 2, or 3 of this section, and the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or issue of grandparents, half the estate passes to the paternal grandparents, if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent if only one survives. If neither paternal grandparent survives, this half share shall be further divided into two equal subshares. One subshare shall be distributed to the issue of the decedent's paternal grandmother per stirpes and one subshare shall be distributed to the issue of the decedent's paternal grandfather per stirpes. If there are no surviving issue of one deceased paternal grandparent, the entire half share passes to the issue of the other deceased paternal grandparent and their issue in the same manner. The other half of the decedent's estate passes to the maternal grandparents and their issue in the same manner. If there are no surviving grandparents or issue of grandparents on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's surviving grandparents or their issue on the other side in accordance with this subsection.

5. If there is no person to take under subsection 1, 2, 3, or 4 of this section, and the decedent is survived by one or more great–grandparents or issue of great–grandparents, the estate passes equally to each set of great–grandparents, or to their issue, if any survive, per stirpes.

6. If there is no person to take under subsection 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 of this section, the portion uninherited shall go to the issue of the deceased spouse of the intestate, per stirpes. If the intestate has had more than one spouse who died in lawful wedlock, it shall be equally divided between the issue, per stirpes, of those deceased spouses.

7. If there is no person who qualifies under either subsection 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 of this section, the intestate property shall escheat to the state of Iowa.

Iowa Intestacy Laws - Iowa Code, 633.219

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Iowa, all of which are part of the probate code. To view the probate code in its entirety, please click here.

 

[Reference - Iowa Intestacy laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Indiana, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Indiana has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Indiana intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Estate; distribution

    (a) The estate of a person dying intestate shall descend and be distributed as provided in this section.

    (b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), the surviving spouse shall receive the following share:

          (1) One-half (1/2) of the net estate if the intestate is survived by at least one (1) child or by the issue of at least one (1) deceased child.

          (2) Three-fourths (3/4) of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one (1) or both of the intestate's parents.

          (3) All of the net estate, if there is no surviving issue or parent.

    (c) If the surviving spouse is a second or other subsequent spouse who did not at any time have children by the decedent, and the decedent left surviving the decedent a child or children or the descendants of a child or children by a previous spouse, the surviving second or subsequent childless spouse shall take only an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the remainder of:

          (1) the fair market value as of the date of death of the real property of the deceased spouse; minus

          (2) the value of the liens and encumbrances on the real property of the deceased spouse.

The fee shall, at the decedent's death, vest at once in the decedent's surviving child or children, or the descendants of the decedent's child or children who may be dead. A second or subsequent childless spouse described in this subsection shall, however, receive the same share of the personal property of the decedent as is provided in subsection (b) with respect to surviving spouses generally.

    (d) The share of the net estate not distributable to the surviving spouse, or the entire net estate if there is no surviving spouse, shall descend and be distributed as follows:

          (1) To the issue of the intestate, if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.

          (2) If there is a surviving spouse but no surviving issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents of the intestate.

          (3) If there is no surviving spouse or issue of the intestate, then to the surviving parents, brothers, and sisters, and the issue of deceased brothers and sisters of the intestate. Each living parent of the intestate shall be treated as of the same degree as a brother or sister and shall be entitled to the same share as a brother or sister. However, the share of each parent shall be not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the decedent's net estate. Issue of deceased brothers and sisters shall take by representation.

          (4) If there is no surviving parent or brother or sister of the intestate, then to the issue of brothers and sisters. If the distributees described in this subdivision are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degrees shall take by representation.

          (5) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the intestate or issue of a parent, then to the surviving grandparents of the intestate equally.

          (6) If there is no surviving issue or parent or issue of a parent, or grandparent of the intestate, then the estate of the decedent shall be divided into that number of shares equal to the sum of:

                (A) the number of brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents surviving the decedent; plus

                (B) the number of deceased brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents leaving issue surviving both them and the decedent;

        and one (1) of the shares shall pass to each of the brothers and sisters of the decedent's parents or their respective issue per stirpes.

          (7) If interests in real estate go to a husband and wife under this subsection, the aggregate interests so descending shall be owned by them as tenants by the entireties. Interests in personal property so descending shall be owned as tenants in common.

          (8) If there is no person mentioned in subdivisions (1) through (7), then to the state.

IC-29-1-2-1

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Indiana. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Indiana's Intestacy laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Illinois, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Illinois has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Illinois intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Rules of descent and distribution

The intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent, after all just claims against his estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as follows:

    (a) If there is a surviving spouse and also a descendant of the decedent: 1/2 of the entire estate to the surviving spouse and 1/2 to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.

    (b) If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.

    (c) If there is a surviving spouse but no descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the surviving spouse.

    (d) If there is no surviving spouse or descendant but a parent, brother, sister or descendant of a brother or sister of the decedent: the entire estate to the parents, brothers and sisters of the decedent in equal parts, allowing to the surviving parent if one is dead a double portion and to the descendants of a deceased brother or sister per stirpes the portion which the deceased brother or sister would have taken if living.

    (e) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister or descendant of a brother or sister of the decedent but a grandparent or descendant of a grandparent of the decedent: (1) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's maternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes, and (2) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's paternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving paternal grandparent or descendant of a paternal grandparent, but a maternal grandparent or descendant of a maternal grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's maternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving maternal grandparent or descendant of a maternal grandparent, but a paternal grandparent or descendant of a paternal grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's paternal grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.

    (f) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister, descendant of a brother or sister or grandparent or descendant of a grandparent of the decedent: (1) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's maternal great‑grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes, and (2) 1/2 of the entire estate to the decedent's paternal great‑grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving paternal great‑grandparent or descendant of a paternal great‑grandparent, but a maternal great‑grandparent or descendant of a maternal great‑grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's maternal great‑grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes. If there is no surviving maternal great‑grandparent or descendant of a maternal great‑grandparent, but a paternal great‑grandparent or descendant of a paternal great‑grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's paternal great‑grandparents in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.

    (g) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, parent, brother, sister, descendant of a brother or sister, grandparent, descendant of a grandparent, great‑grandparent or descendant of a great‑grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate in equal parts to the nearest kindred of the decedent in equal degree (computing by the rules of the civil law) and without representation.

    (h) If there is no surviving spouse and no known kindred of the decedent: the real estate escheats to the county in which it is located; the personal estate physically located within this State and the personal estate physically located or held outside this State which is the subject of ancillary administration of an estate being administered within this State escheats to the county of which the decedent was a resident, or, if the decedent was not a resident of this State, to the county in which it is located; all other personal property of the decedent of every class and character, wherever situate, or the proceeds thereof, shall escheat to this State and be delivered to the State Treasurer pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.

In no case is there any distinction between the kindred of the whole and the half blood.

755 ILCS 5/Art. II, Sec. 2-1

 

Children born out of wedlock

The intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as provided in Section 2‑1, subject to Section 2‑6.5 of this Act, if both parents are eligible parents. As used in this Section, "eligible parent" means a parent of the decedent who, during the decedent's lifetime, acknowledged the decedent as the parent's child, established a parental relationship with the decedent, and supported the decedent as the parent's child. "Eligible parents" who are in arrears of in excess of one year's child support obligations shall not receive any property benefit or other interest of the decedent unless and until a court of competent jurisdiction makes a determination as to the effect on the deceased of the arrearage and allows a reduced benefit. In no event shall the reduction of the benefit or other interest be less than the amount of child support owed for the support of the decedent at the time of death. The court's considerations shall include but are not limited to the considerations in subsections (1) through (3) of Section 2‑6.5 of this Act.

    If neither parent is an eligible parent, the intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his or her estate are fully paid, descends and shall be distributed as provided in Section 2‑1, but the parents of the decedent shall be treated as having predeceased the decedent.

    If only one parent is an eligible parent, the intestate real and personal estate of a resident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death and the intestate real estate in this State of a nonresident decedent who was a child born out of wedlock at the time of death, after all just claims against his or her estate are fully paid, subject to Section 2‑6.5 of this Act, descends and shall be distributed as follows:

    (a) If there is a surviving spouse and also a descendant of the decedent: 1/2 of the entire estate to the surviving spouse and 1/2 to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.

    (b) If there is no surviving spouse but a descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's descendants per stirpes.

    (c) If there is a surviving spouse but no descendant of the decedent: the entire estate to the surviving spouse.

    (d) If there is no surviving spouse or descendant but the eligible parent or a descendant of the eligible parent of the decedent: the entire estate to the eligible parent and the eligible parent's descendants, allowing 1/2 to the eligible parent and 1/2 to the eligible parent's descendants per stirpes.

    (e) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, eligible parent, or descendant of the eligible parent of the decedent, but a grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family or descendant of such grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's grandparents on the eligible parent's side of the family in equal parts, or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.

    (f) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, eligible parent, descendant of the eligible parent, grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family, or descendant of such grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate to the decedent's great‑grandparents on the eligible parent's side of the family in equal parts or to the survivor of them, or if there is none surviving, to their descendants per stirpes.

    (g) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, eligible parent, descendant of the eligible parent, grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family, descendant of such grandparent, great‑grandparent on the eligible parent's side of the family, or descendant of such great‑grandparent of the decedent: the entire estate in equal parts to the nearest kindred of the eligible parent of the decedent in equal degree (computing by the rules of the civil law) and without representation.

    (h) If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, or eligible parent of the decedent and no known kindred of the eligible parent of the decedent: the real estate escheats to the county in which it is located; the personal estate physically located within this State and the personal estate physically located or held outside this State which is the subject of ancillary administration within this State escheats to the county of which the decedent was a resident or, if the decedent was not a resident of this State, to the county in which it is located; all other personal property of the decedent of every class and character, wherever situate, or the proceeds thereof, shall escheat to this State and be delivered to the State Treasurer of this State pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.

    For purposes of inheritance, the changes made by this amendatory Act of 1998 apply to all decedents who die on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1998. For the purpose of determining the property rights of any person under any instrument, the changes made by this amendatory Act of 1998 apply to all instruments executed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1998.

    A child born out of wedlock is heir of his mother and of any maternal ancestor and of any person from whom his mother might have inherited, if living; and the descendants of a person who was a child born out of wedlock shall represent such person and take by descent any estate which the parent would have taken, if living. If a decedent has acknowledged paternity of a child born out of wedlock or if during his lifetime or after his death a decedent has been adjudged to be the father of a child born out of wedlock, that person is heir of his father and of any paternal ancestor and of any person from whom his father might have inherited, if living; and the descendants of a person who was a child born out of wedlock shall represent that person and take by descent any estate which the parent would have taken, if living. If during his lifetime the decedent was adjudged to be the father of a child born out of wedlock by a court of competent jurisdiction, an authenticated copy of the judgment is sufficient proof of the paternity; but in all other cases paternity must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. A person who was a child born out of wedlock whose parents intermarry and who is acknowledged by the father as the father's child is a lawful child of the father. After a child born out of wedlock is adopted, that person's relationship to his or her adopting and natural parents shall be governed by Section 2‑4 of this Act. For purposes of inheritance, the changes made by this amendatory Act of 1997 apply to all decedents who die on or after January 1, 1998. For the purpose of determining the property rights of any person under any instrument, the changes made by this amendatory Act of 1997 apply to all instruments executed on or after January 1, 1998.

755 ILCS 5/Art. II, Sec. 2-2

 

Posthumous child

A posthumous child of a decedent shall receive the same share of an estate as if the child had been born in the decedent's lifetime.

755 ILCS 5/Art. II, Sec. 2-3

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Illinois. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Illinois' Intestacy laws]

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If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Idaho, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Idaho has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Idaho intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

INTESTATE ESTATE

Any part of the estate of a decedent not effectively disposed of by his will passes to his heirs as prescribed in the following sections of this code.

Idaho Statutes,15-2-101

 

SHARE OF THE SPOUSE

The intestate share of the surviving spouse is as follows:

(a) As to separate property:

          (1) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the decedent, the entire intestate estate;

          (2) If there is no surviving issue but the decedent is survived by a parent or parents, one-half (1/2) of the
intestate estate;

          (3) If there are surviving issue of the deceased spouse, one-half (1/2) of the intestate estate.

(b) As to community property:

          (1) The one-half (1/2) of community property which belongs to the decedent passes to the surviving spouse.

Idaho Statutes,15-2-102

 

SHARE OF HEIRS OTHER THAN SURVIVING SPOUSE

The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under section 15-2-102 of this part, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows:

(a) To the issue of the decedent; if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent they take equally, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree take by representation;

(b) If there is no surviving issue, to his parent or parents equally;

(c) If there is no surviving issue or parent, to the issue of the parents or either of them by representation;

(d) If there is no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one (1) or more grandparents or issue of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased, the issue taking equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there be no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparents on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

Idaho Statutes,15-2-103

 

OTHER INTESTACY STATUTES

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Idaho. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Idaho's Intestacy laws]