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Important elements of a legal will in Illinois

As a resident of Illinois, you have the right to create a will that is going to serve as your last request for how your estate will be handled upon your death. However, we at Donald R. Johannes want you to understand that wills are regulated by the law of the state, so you need to be familiar with the law to ensure the will you create is legal. If it is not legal, it will not be honored.

Wills serve many purposes. The best known is that they state who will get any real estate, money or other property that you own after you die. However, they also can provide instructions for special situations, dictate your funeral plans and set up guardianship for minors.

The Illinois General Assembly states that if you are over the age of 18 and have normal cognitive function, you are capable of creating a legal will. However, in order for it to actually be legal, it must be in writing. You have to have your signature on the document attested to by at least two witnesses.

You can revoke your will. To do this, you need to create a new will stating the old one is void or it must be destroyed physically. You can burn it, shred it or tear it up. Whatever you do, it must be done when you are present to see it happen. Alternatively, you can also create a new document that states the will is void. Your will can also be declared void if you are found to not have possessed sound cognitive function when you signed it. To learn more about wills, visit our estate planning and probate page. 

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