An Illinois Last Will and Testament is a Legal document by which the people of Illinois may distribute their estate (personal belongings, real estate, bank accounts, money etc.) among their loved ones as per their wish. This document will be effective only after the death of the testator (A Testator is a person who creates the Will).
Once you have downloaded this DIY Last Will and Testament template for New Jersey;
- Fill it out and validate your will as per your state laws.
- If it feels overwhelming you can try TrulyWill, where you can DIY with the help of guide questions and support to answer your queries too. You can also book an attorney if you need specific legal advice for a nominal fee.
- Use the platform to come back and update your will as per your convenience.
This template will help you to create a Will with a simple estate plan. If you have a high net worth or any other complex issues in your personal or financial life; you should discuss it with one of our attorneys to avoid your Will from being rejected by the probate court at a later stage.
In addition to this, below, you can find all the relevant information about the legal requirements for making a valid last Will in Illinois along with the frequently asked questions.
In Illinois, any person who is 18 or more years of age and is of sound mind may make a Will.
Sound mind- A person is said to be of sound mind if he is capable of knowing the nature of the act he is involved in and is able to distinguish between right and wrong. In simple words, you must be aware that you are creating a Will, the property you own and to whom you are making the beneficiaries.
Signature Requirements in Will:
In Illinois, every Will must be signed by the Testator and at least 2 credible witnesses.
There are various exceptions and special rules but these are the standard requirements for Illinois wills.
Electronic Wills in Illinois:
On July 26, 2021, allowed the creation of electronic wills and remote signing. You can execute and witness these electronic Wills remotely.
Stepwise procedure on what to include in the Last Will and Testament for Illinois.
STEP 1: List your Assets.
Firstly, make a list of everything you own, from tangible to Intangible assets. This may include your personal property, real estate, bank accounts, jewelry, and life insurance policies.
This will help you understand which asset will be transferred through your Will or other modes.
STEP 2: Choose Beneficiaries.
A Beneficiary is a person or an entity( trust or organization) in whose name you bequest your assets in the Will. Your family, friends, relatives or any other person whom you want can be a beneficiary under your Will.
You also have the right to disinherit any relative, child or spouse from your Will whenever you want. It is advised to take legal help for this purpose.
STEP 3: Choose an Executive/Personal representative.
Always choose a person who is trustworthy, credible and responsible as your personal representative as he/she has a lot of authority over your assets after your death.
- Paying your debts.
- Paying funeral expenses.
- Distributing the assets among beneficiaries.
- Appointing attorneys to assist in probate.
STEP 4: Choose a Guardian for your minor children.
In Illinois, you can name a person who will look after the minor children after the death of the testator. This includes food, shelter, education and medical care. Guardianship of a minor terminates when the minor attains the age of 18 years.
STEP 5: Signature of Testator and Witnesses.
After writing everything in your Will, you need to sign it in the presence of at least 2 witnesses. These witnesses are also required to sign your Will to make it a valid one.
STEP 6: Store your Will in a safe place.
Once you are done with all the above formalities of making a Will, you need to store it in a safe place to avoid being lost or stolen. It is advised to give copies of your Will to all the beneficiaries and executors so that they are aware of the fact that you have created a Will. It would be difficult to find your Will if you die suddenly without informing anyone about it. It is also possible that they will never know that you had a Will also. So, it's very important to communicate it with your heirs/beneficiaries.
You can also use TrulyWill’s platform to store your Wills and review it anytime, anywhere.
STEP 7: Review your Will periodically
Making a Will is not enough if you have not updated it after any major event that has happened in your Life. Events like marriage, divorce, births and deaths are likely to affect the decisions made previously in the Wills so it is important to update it accordingly to avoid any future stress to you and your family members.
Want to know more about Last Will and Testament requirements in Illinois?
You may also look for the Advance Healthcare Directives in Illinois.