Married couples often want to do pretty much everything with each other. That often includes the way in which they do estate planning, which can include the writing of joint wills primarily so that everything will be left to the surviving spouse. In Illinois, a joint will can't be changed or revoked by just one spouse; both have to agree to any changes.
There comes a time in every adult's life when they begin thinking about what would happen if they were no longer on the planet. When life changes happen -- like marriage or the birth of children -- that's when many Illinois residents may give thought to writing their wills. There are a few things people might do or neglect to do when beginning the will-writing journey.
Most people would like to leave something to their loved ones after they pass away. But there may be some downsides to the contents of wills that may cause some serious family squabbles, pitting loved ones against loved ones. So, in Illinois, communicating clearly to adult children what an estate plan includes could mean the difference between bringing siblings together or tearing them apart.
A will is an important document that communicates the deceased wishes in regards to property, assets and minor children. In some cases, though, you may decide to fight the validity of a will in Illinois. The law, according to the Illinois Courts, allows you to contest a will but only in limited situations. You must have standing to protest the will’s validity, which means you have an interest in the outcome, and you must contest within six months after the will is put into probate.
If you have property in a foreign country, you may want to pay close attention to your will. Although you may think the document is valid because it meets all of the requirements for Illinois, you may find that international property presents a different set of circumstances.
While end-of-life decisions are not always pleasant, they do need to be made, especially if there are dependents involved. U.S. News reports that around half of all American parents do not prepare a will, leaving their estate to be placed in intestate and subject to the individual state’s laws for distribution. While the reasons for why this happens may be unclear, there are obvious enticements for creating a will, especially for those left behind. If these guidelines are followed before meeting with an estate planning attorney in Illinois, the process can be faster, smoother and less stressful.