Free Illinois Last Will and Testament Form

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.

Illinois Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
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

How to Prepare an Illinois Last Will and Testament

  1. Consider your possible choices. Prior to starting out, you’ll want to decide if you would like to use the help of an attorney or create the entire document yourself. If you’re going to develop the last will yourself, choose the type you will go for: a handwritten (holographic) will or a free last will and testament form.
  2. Specify your information. Establish the testator and their details: full name and residence (city, county, and state). Go over the information you wrote and the remainder of the section, which includes “Expenses and Taxes.”
  3. Indicate the executor (or executrix). In this passage, you establish who’s going to carry out your will by filling in their full name, along with their city, county, and state of residence. Most states have special restrictions associated with out-of-state executors and representatives, which usually implies extra headache and paperwork. Thus, it is advised to choose someone who resides in the same state as you. It could happen that your main representative will be unable to carry out your will as a result of a sickness, death, unwillingness, or some other factors. In such a case, the court will probably choose its own representative to undertake the duties. To avoid that, choose an additional executor by indicating the same information you did for the main one.
  4. Establish the guardian (optional). In case that you have minor or dependent children and do not want the court to choose a guardian for the kids when you’re no longer on this Earth, you can specify a friend or acquaintance as a guardian for your children.
  5. Specify your beneficiaries. This is where you specify those who are going to inherit your property. For each named beneficiary, specify these particulars: full legal name, address, and how they are related to you.
  6. Distribute assets. Write down your possessions and explain how you would like to distribute them among your inheritors if you have something in mind besides splitting the estate evenly. Money for arrearage, realty, stocks, business ownership, cash, and any material items of commercial worth in your possession can be mentioned in the will. Please be aware that there are things that can’t be distributed in the last will and testament, for example, shared and living will property and life insurance.
  7. Ask witnesses to finalize the document. In accordance with Illinois regulation, for any last will and testament to be legally correct, it has to be signed by two witnesses. They should be over 18 years of age and have no interest in your last will, which means they cannot be inheritors. As an additional precaution against cases when your will is challenged or some other problems, it’s a wise decision to appoint a witness who is younger than you to ensure they will be there after you depart this world. After a careful revision of each passage in your last will, all parties involved (you and your two witnesses) will have to fill out their full names and full addresses and sign the document.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the main difference between 'Power of Attorney' and 'Executor'?


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:

  • General power of attorney – enables you to assign a proxy (agent) who’ll have the ability to manage your monetary and legal matters in your stead. But, this document will become void in case the PoA author dies or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the same rights to the proxy as the previous type but will stay valid even if the person on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes disabled.

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.

Is an Illinois will form effective without a notary certification?


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.

IMPORTANT: Even though notarization is not required for last wills in Illinois, it usually helps facilitate the probate.

When weighing an attested and holographic will, which is preferable?


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.

Exactly what does it mean to be testamentary capable?


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.

Do I have to include a self-proving affidavit to my will in Illinois?


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.

Is child or spouse disinheritance allowed?


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.

However, this fact hardly influences the Illinois divorce rate. In 2018, it was 6.6 per 1,000 women over 15 years old, in comparison to the national rate of 7.7 (according to Census.gov).


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.

Is another person permitted to amend my last will?


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.

Am I allowed to change a typewritten last will after signing it? (in Illinois)


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:

  • Adoption or childbirth
  • Marriage or divorce
  • You sold or purchased real estate or a considerable piece of property.
  • Important changes in your financial situation

What happens if I have lost my last will and testament?


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.

How can a disadvantaged person sign their will?


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 Download When to create it
Codicil DOCX, ODT, PDF You want to slightly change your will without writing a new document from scratch.
Self-proving affidavit DOCX, ODT, PDF You want the probate to be quicker in due time.
Living will DOCX, ODT, PDF You would like to indicate precisely what health care you expect if you can’t express that by yourself.
Living trust DOCX, ODT, PDF You want to handle your end-of-life affairs without probate.
Published: Sep 15, 2020