Free Illinois Last Will and Testament



What is a Last Will and Testament?

An Illinois Last Will and Testament, if drafted and executed properly by an individual who is an adult of sound mind, is a legal document that defines exactly how your possessions or real estate will be handled and allocated after your passing away. After the testator (one who wrote the last will) dies, they're referred to as the decedent. When the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament might also be used to assign someone they want to care for their young children and who they wish to manage their children’s inheritance and budget until every child comes of age (usually 18, but you can indicate a specific age) to handle their finances on their own.

In an Illinois Last Will, the decedent generally also names a personal representative-or co-personal representatives (more than one persons acting jointly in this regard) to take care of the estate. A personal agent is someone who collects all the information concerning the decedent’s financial debt and assets, pays any unpaid debts with the assets on behalf of the estate, and makes certain that the decedent’s property is used as instructed in the Will, making this a job with a great deal of responsibility. The personal agent decided on is usually someone the will creator really counts on to execute their final wishes.

When somebody passes away with no legitimate Illinois Will (which for most states means the document must be correctly witnessed, not just signed), someone will generally be designated by the court to become the personal representative and settle the decedent’s financial obligations, using assets as necessary to do so. After that, the residual assets will be shared amongst the decedent’s heirs according to the rules of the state the testator resided in.

In some states, any time one spouse passes away leaving their wife or husband, that surviving spouse will inherit the decedent’s property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament declaring the contrary. Additionally, the testator could have specified a particular individual to acquire a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and this beneficiary designation will determine who receives those assets even without a Will document.

The crucial thing to know is the fact that anybody who needs to define the way in which their belongings will be handled after their passing should absolutely make and correctly execute a Will to ensure their wishes are recognized and carried out. Without getting a will, you will be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state, or a court of law regarding the way your last matters will be settled.

Legal Requirements for Last Will in Illinois

The Last Will and Testament is a legal document needed by every person: it is crucial for the planning of the future after one’s death. In short, it claims the distribution of one’s estate and personal property after one will be considered dead. In Illinois, one can not only dedicate the property and estate to significant others (a wife, children, brothers, sisters, and so forth) but the charitable organizations as well, in the form of gifts. The ones to whom the assets are distributed are referred to as Beneficiaries.

The Last Will is frequently mixed with Living Will, and there are different requirements for such a record. Here, we discuss the Last Will document.

It is important to acknowledge that if the Last Will is not made by the person and the person becomes deceased, and the court has full capability to distribute the assets anyhow they want due to Intestacy laws. The same case occurs when the Will was only made verbally. That is exactly the reason why it is recommended to fill out the form. While it is important to be careful while filling out the form, it is also important to be ensured that all legal requirements concerning the Will are met.

In each State of the United States, there are compulsory requirements that should be met in order to successfully fill out the form:

  • The document should be written and typed out, and it should not be written by hand;

  • The document must be signed by the one who writes the Will. This person is referred to as Testator or Testatrix in most cases;

  • The document should be signed by two witnesses. Each witness should observe the process of document completion and observe each other’s signing of the form;

  • In case the Testator or Testatrix is physically incompetent, they can direct somebody to write the form for themselves.

Not to mention, there are some special requirements for the Last Will document in each state. In Illinois, they are as per the following:

  • Any person from the age of 18 or an emancipated person can make a Last Will, in case they are in ‘sound mind and memory. This expression implies that the person should be conscious and was not found incompetent in the previous legal proceeding;

  • Anybody who is considered to be ‘credible’ has an opportunity to Witness a Will, as stated in Section 755 ILCS 5/4-3. Moreover, it is mentioned that the Witness should be ‘disinterested,’ so they should not necessarily be the beneficiaries of the Last Will;

  • In case the authenticity of the Will is unchallenged, then it can be probated in a more simple procedure if it has been self-proven. In a self-proven Will case, the witnesses are not obliged to testify in court, as the court accepts the self-proven Will to be valid, according to Section 755 ILCS 5/6-4;

  • The document should be notarially verified. The Testator or Testatrix has the ability to notarize the record for extra legal protection.

Last Will Forms for Neighboring States