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Requirements for an Illinois Will

Requirements for an Illinois Will

hand writing my last will, probate

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 44% of Americans have a will. Too often people believe that they either do not have adequate money or assets to warrant a will or that they will have plenty of time to write one later. The main problem is that wills do more than handle assets after a person passes.

Wills specify who will become the guardian of any dependents of the deceased and how the deceased’s body will be handled, among other non-asset related issues. They also provide comfort and give loved ones more time to grieve. However, there are strict requirements that must be met. Although it is possible to create a will without a lawyer, many people opt to use a will attorney during the process to ensure that all of the requirements are met.

Requirements Regarding Who Can Make and Witness a Will

Wills cannot be drafted for people who are under 18 years old, and the will maker must be of sound body and mind at the time that the will is signed. There must be a hard copy of the will that is signed by the person specified in the will. Two witnesses are required at the time of the signing, and they will add their signatures stating that the signee is of age and is mentally and physical able to make the determinations in the will. Neither of the witnesses may be a beneficiary specified in the will.

Changing a Will

Wills can be changed at any point in time for any reason, but the creator of the will must demonstrate to be of sound body and mind at the time of the signing, and two witnesses are required for each change. Additions are made through a codicil. Just as there are requirements to changing an estate plan, changes to a will must follow certain requirements, based on the type of change desired.

Rights of the Spouse

The person who created the will cannot disinherit a spouse, unless the spouse consents to being disinherited in the will. A spouse can contest a will and receive as much as half of all specified assets.

It is never too early to have a will, but it will require some time and thought. An Illinois will attorney can help ensure that the will meets all of the state requirements to hold up in court.

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