Estate Planning – Wills

Estate Planning – Wills – basic planning for the distribution of assets after death.  Drafting and executing a Will is a major component of estate planning.   A Will is an instrument executed by a competent person, whereby property is deposed of after death.

In Illinois, a Will:

  • Must be in writing
  • Must be signed by the testator
  • Must be witnessed by 2 or more witnesses.

A testator must be at least 18 years of age, and must have knowledge of the contents of the Will.

Other forms of Wills:

Holographic Will:  A handwritten will.  Valid in Illinois, if properly witnessed.  A typewritten translation of the holographic will may be required by the probate court, if the estate is probated.

Noncupative Will:  Oral will – no writing.  Can exist only when the testator declares his will orally before witnesses.  Not valid in Illinois.

Living Will:  Also known as an advanced directive, allows an individual to instruct physicians not to utilize life sustaining medical treatment in the event of a terminal illness.

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More information on testamentary capacity

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For more information, or to schedule a free consultation for estate planning

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