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Wills in Illinois

Posted on in Estate Planning

Wills are often not thought of until people reach a very old age, but it is very important for even young people to have them. Not only are they used to distribute property and to name a legal guardian for children, they can also be used as directions for what to do if you are no longer able to speak for yourself in the hospital or after death.

Although states vary, in Illinois, if someone dies without creating a will, his or her property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. These laws state that the property of the deceased will go to the closest relatives, beginning with a spouse and children, then moving to grandchildren or parents if you have no spouse or children.

If there is no relative of the deceased to claim the property, it will go to the state. This is only after all relative have been exhausted, however, beginning with siblings, grandparents, uncles, cousins and even to spouse's relatives.

When you choose to create a will, you must sign it in front of two witnesses who are not listed in the will to receive any property. The witnesses must then sign the will as well.

After the will has been drafted, finalized and signed by you and the two witnesses, it is complete. A last will and testament does not have to be notarized to be considered a legal document, however, being notarized will speed up the process because it will be "self-proving."

"Self-proving" means that it is assumed to be true and the court can save time by not having to contact any witnesses. To be properly notarized, you and your two witnesses must go to the notary and sign a document that states that you are all aware that you are signing a will and who you are.

If you have additional questions or concerns about creating a will in Illinois, contact an estate planning lawyer in Illinois. Attorneys at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can assist you with your last will and testament today.

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