Creating a will should be a fairly straightforward process. However, because of the nature of the document and its legal effect, it can be a bit more complex than you might think. Generally, when your will is contested, you will not be around to defend it. This means that you need to consider several future problems when you are writing a will in the present. Here are some things to consider when creating your will to ensure your wishes are carried out after you are gone.
Sign your will in front of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries in your will.
This is the law in Illinois. If you do not sign your will in front of two witnesses, your will is not valid and will not be admitted for probate.
Name an executor who will execute your will after you pass away.
Identify a person, over the age of 18, who will carry out your wishes after you have passed. Practically speaking, you will probably want to choose someone who is younger than you.
Either include your children in your will or explicitly state why you are not.
If you are married you must make provisions for your spouse.
In Illinois, if you do not provide for your spouse in your will, that spouse can take from other bequests under the will. The gifts you intended to leave to others will be reduced to accommodate your spouse’s share. The share your spouse may take depends on how many of your children survive you.
Provide for all debts you have incurred.
If you leave a will that does not provide for creditors to whom you owe money, the creditors can take from other bequests in your will. Again, this means your heirs will not get the assets you intended them to have.
By their nature, wills are complex documents with a great deal of legal authority. If you have questions regarding the proper way to create your will, contact the Libertyville experts at Orlowsky & Wilson.