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Illinois Last Will and Testament

Illinois Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

7 mins

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It's not always enough to just write what assets you own and who would inherit them. A legal Illinois last will and testament is essential for the estate planning process to avoid any problems. Your loved ones could still go back and forth through the probate process even if you have written what you want.

The essence here is to make a legal and valid last will that would uphold in court. You could list everything down to decide what would happen to your estate, your kid's guardian, your executor, and who would inherit everything. Therefore, you should waste no time creating an online will Illinois that would be valid and legal.

Requirements for an Illinois Last Will and Testament

  • Written will: The Illinois last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. Furthermore, Illinois doesn't allow written or holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age 
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for an Illinois last will must understand the will-making procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For their Illinois will to be valid, they must have a sound mind and memory.
  • Signed by the testator: To make your last will and testament Illinois legal, you must sign it before your two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have at least two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will before the testator. 
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for an Illinois Last Will and Testament?

Your witnesses for an Illinois last will must follow these conditions:

  • Illinois allows anyone competent to become a witness. 
  • They must be able to testify about what they witnessed and the will-making process.
  • Illinois also allows beneficiaries to be witnesses for an Illinois will only if two other disinterested witnesses are present. 

Illinois rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your Illinois last will would be better than leaving it to an uncertain probate process. However, your Illinois will executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. Illinois restricts people convicted of a felony from being executors.
  4. Illinois allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor. 
Illinois last will and testament

Illinois Last Will and Testament Notarization 

There's no need to notarize your Illinois last will and testament. However, you make a self-proving will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • You only need to sign your Illinois will and follow the witness requirements to make it self-proving 

Last Will Revocation in Illinois 

You could follow any of the these methods to revoke your Illinois last will and testament:

  • Destroy your Illinois will by tearing, burning, obliterating, shredding.
  • Asking someone to destroy the last will before you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will, which revokes any part or the entire previous will.
  • Making a new Illinois will that contradicts the previous one.
  • Create a legal document that states the revocation of your Illinois last will and testament by following the same conditions for making a new will.

Last Will Amendment rules Illinois. 

If you wish to make a few minor and simple changes to your Illinois will, you can do it through a Codicil. It enables you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

Illinois rules for divorce after making your last will

  • Illinois law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 

What happens if you don't have a will in Illinois?

Here's what you should know about Illinois intestate succession rules:

Case

What happens 

Have children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Have a spouse, no children 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse and children 

Spouse inherits one-half, children inherit the other half

Has parents, no children, no spouse, no siblings 

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has parents and siblings 

Parents and siblings equally inherit the estate

If there's only one living parent, they get double the share

Last Will and Testament Illinois Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Illinois free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Illinois last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Illinois last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.

Do I need to have a certain amount of money to make a will?

No, there's no minimum limit of money you need to have to make your last will. It would dispose of any assets you leave to the beneficiaries.

Is it an expensive procedure to make a will?

Traditional will-making processes can be pretty expensive. However, with online tools and platforms, you can do it in an affordable way.

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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