A last will is a legal document containing the details of an individual (testator) involving their assets in case of death, written in the form prescribed by law.
Typically, most individuals will undoubtedly benefit from having a will. Even when you don’t possess a lot of assets, a last will and testament can really help your family situation and prove to be critical to your close relatives after your death.
Here, we offer a free online Illinois last will and testament form and the solutions to some frequent doubts you could have about this particular document.
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|Statutes||Act 5 – Probate Act of 1975|
|Signing requirement||Two witnesses||Sec. 4-3. Signing and attestation|
|Age of testator||18 and older||Sec. 4-1. Capacity of testator|
|Age of witnesses||18 and older||Sec. 4-3. Signing and attestation|
|Self-proving wills||Allowed||Sec. 6-4. Admission of will to probate|
|Handwritten wills||Might be recognized if witnessed according to the state law||Sec. 4-3. Signing and attestation|
|Oral wills||Not recognized|
|Holographic wills||Not recognized|
A power of attorney is a legal document that establishes a person, known as your agent or proxy (doesn’t need to be an attorney), to deal with important things on your behalf when you are alive. There are two major ones on the list of power of attorney kinds:
An executor is someone you have confidence in and appoint to be sure the will’s instructions are performed. It is possible to name the same individual to act as an attorney-in-fact and will executor.
A will in Illinois is valid without a notary certification. To make your last will self-proving notarization is not required either. A self-proving will makes probate more efficient since the court can acknowledge it without speaking to the witnesses involved.
If you need to make a holographic will, you’ll have to write the whole thing by hand and have it witnessed according to the state law. You should understand that this type of a will is often made when there is no other solution and is replaced by a more detailed document created with the help of a fillable last will form or legal professional. Holographic last wills can contain unclear directions and miss significant terms, so they are more challenging to put in force and can hinder the probate considerably. Hence, it might be a better idea to use the other option we talk about below.
An attested will is normally typed as it is often prepared by an attorney or is based upon a will template, such as the one you can get here. You would need to have two witnesses (18 years or older) sign the last will in your presence for it to be regarded as valid. In certain states, you’d have to notarize the document as well, but in Illinois, it’s not mandatory.
In order to create your last will and change it (to be testamentary capable), you must meet certain requirements with regards to your legal and mental capabilities (sound mind) first.
In most states, to write a will, you have to be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. “Sound mind” indicates that you do not have any kind of psychiatric disorders (dementia, senility, insanity, etc.) that does not allow you to fully understand the consequences of your actions.
In accordance with Illinois law, there’s no need to add a self-proving affidavit to your will. But, it is not a bad decision to include this document. During probate, it can act as a substitute for the witness testimony in court and speed up the procedure.
In regard to your marriage partner, it’s necessary to accentuate that Illinois is not a community property state, which indicates that the assets that were gained while in the marriage or that improved with capital earned in the said marriage, are not owned by each of the marriage partners equally. This makes it possible to disinherit your spouse completely, but the latter will have the right to hold a particular minimum number of your assets.
For other members of the family, it is possible to legally disinherit anyone else. By adding corresponding disinheritance paragraphs to your will, you will be able to exclude your adult children or any other family members from getting any of the possessions.
No, only the testator can modify their will. A third party is only able to sign the last will when you’re physically incapable of doing so.
Yes, you can do that.
In Illinois, in case you haven’t concluded a contract that mentions otherwise, you are allowed to repeal or alter your will whenever you want.
It’s recommended to review your last will when a major event comes about in your life. These include but aren’t limited to:
In Illinois, the law indicates that the court will accept a will in case it has been destroyed or lost. But, just the original of the will can be approved by the probate court.
Illinois law offers a presumption that the will’s absence means it was repealed. This puts the responsibility on the proponent of the last will and testament to give proof of the mentioned last will.
For holographic wills, the process may be much more difficult since sworn witnesses and testimony are needed. Besides that, you are also to provide proof of why the last will and its details cannot be delivered in ways that will also ensure it has not been repealed.
By Illinois Estate Code, it will be possible for an individual to sign his or her will, provided that it’s your (as a testator) instruction and with you present. The person who wrote the will can communicate their last wishes in a verbal manner, by giving a positive answer to an inquiry, or with gesticulation.
A notary public is allowed to sign the name of the testator in case the testator is unable to do so due to a physical incapacity. The notary public has to be guided to perform so with a witness present. It is worth noting that such witnesses aren’t allowed to have an interest (equitable or legal) in any of the properties and assets that are the subject of or impacted by this type of a document (the last will).
|Related documents||When to create it|
|Codicil||You want to slightly change your will without writing a new document from scratch.|
|Self-proving affidavit||You want the probate to be quicker in due time.|
|Living will||You would like to indicate precisely what health care you expect if you can’t express that by yourself.|
|Living trust||You want to handle your end-of-life affairs without probate.|