Many United States rights and privileges are not available to undocumented residents. Estate and inheritance laws do not discriminate. In Illinois, your immigration status does not affect your inheritance rights. Undocumented immigrants have the same rights to inherit property, money and other assets as any other person. August is National Make-A-Will Month and a good time to think about making or updating your will, whether you are a citizen or an undocumented immigrant.
Many immigrants – and nonimmigrants! – don’t have a will. In fact, depending on the survey, 60-67% of all Americans don’t have a will. This costs their families money, stress and time when they die. And making a will is fast, easy and relatively inexpensive!
According to the Estate & Probate Legal Group:
If You Die With a Will
If you have a legal will or trust in Illinois, you can legally leave assets to your heirs even if they are undocumented residents. Estate planning and undocumented immigrants require additional precautions to safeguard individuals at risk.
If You Die Without a Will
Intestate laws mean that your estate and all decisions about your estate will go to your closest relatives. If you die without a will, your estate becomes intestate. Your assets that fall under intestacy laws include property, bank accounts and retirement savings that you own outright in only your name and are not co-owned with anyone else.
Your immigration status does not affect your inheritance under Illinois intestate law. If your relative is undocumented, they can inherit regardless of their citizenship status. Relatives who are entitled to an intestate share of your property will inherit your assets whether or not they are citizens or legally in the United States.
Suppose you plan to name an undocumented person as a beneficiary in your will or trust. In that case, you should consult an experienced immigration attorney with experience in estate planning law to fully protect your undocumented beneficiaries. Your attorney must know the legal status of your heirs so they can advise you on the best options.
Mario Godoy is an experienced immigration and estate planning attorney. Call Godoy Law Office for a FREE consultation with an immigration lawyer. Please contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.
AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office Immigration Lawyers serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area. Including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties