Wills Lawyer Elgin IL – Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – Call 847-628-831
Wills Lawyer Elgin IL
Welcome to the Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo. One of our practice areas involves drafting wills and providing estate planning services for our clients. We’ll present on this post some helpful, basic information about wills to answer some of the most common inquiries our clients have about them. Learn more about this topic by speaking with a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL at our firm.
A will is a written, formal document that you can make on your own or with the help of a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL. In your will, you can select the people that you plan to give your belongings and property to when you pass away. These parties are known for the purposes of legal proceedings as beneficiaries.
In a will, you may also appoint:
A guardian to provide care and supervision of your children in the event they’re still minors when you pass.
-An executor who has the responsibility of carrying out the directions you include your will.
A will is very beneficial to have when you want to leave specific requests regarding the division of your property. This is noteworthy because if you were to die in Illinois without a will, the distribution of your estate will proceed according to the state’s Probate Act.
One of the main benefits of creating a will is that is simply provides you with control over what shall happen to your property and assets when you’re gone. A Wills Lawyer Elgin IL can help you write a will that specifically expresses your wishes. This ensures that the people whom you want to receive your property will receive it according to your instructions and keep confusion or conflict among your beneficiaries to a minimum.
Your Wills Lawyer Elgin IL can recommend which information to include, but here’s a useful list of the issues to consider when creating a will:
-First, determine who you want to inherit your assets and property.
-Then, identify which property you’ll include in the will.
-Name someone to serve as the executor who will manage your estate. The executor’s role involves ensuring that distribution of your property is done in compliance with the terms of your will.
-If you have minor children, name a guardian for them.
-Name someone who will manage your children’s property.
-Create your will and sign the document in the presence of witnesses.
-Keep your will in a secure location.
Requirements for Creating a Will in Illinois – Wills Lawyer Elgin IL
-Be at least 18 years old.
-Be of sound mind and memory. This is not a difficult standard to reach. Most people fulfill it even if they’re not well physically or if they are forgetful. The law in Illinois assumes that an individual is not “of sound mind” if the court determines they are disabled and appoints a guardian.
Another requirement in Illinois is that a will has to be in writing. It may not be in digital form, on video or an audio recording. Type and print out your will with the use of a computer or a typewriter. Handwritten is not permissible for a will in Illinois.*
Free Consultation with a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL at 847-628-8311
The differences between wills and living wills
A will is legal documentation in which you’ll state your directions about distributing your property after your death. A living will, in contrast, is a type of document that contains your instructions on matters such as whether you would want to receive life supporting treatments if you are significantly disabled or put on life support. With a living will, you can state your instructions while you’re still alive.
For more information on the difference between these documents, talk to a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL at our firm.
Dying Without a Will
When an Illinois resident passes away and they do not have a valid will, distribution of their estate goes forward in accordance with the Probate Act. Precisely how this proceeds depends upon the types of heirs who are still living and how the deceased party owned their property.
Any properties that you co-own along with another individual are not considered to be part of the estate you leave behind. For instance, if two individuals own a truck and one person passes away, the other person then becomes the owner of the truck. Additionally, any properties that have a beneficiary are not part of your estate. Examples of this are vehicles, banking accounts, investment accounts or life insurance policies, which frequently have named beneficiaries.
If You’re Married
In the event that you have a living spouse at the time you die and do not have children, your spouse receives your estate. Similarly, if you’re married when you die and do have living children, your spouse and children would inherit your whole estate.
Your spouse typically would receive 50 percent of the estate, with the other 50 percent equally divided among your children. The courts also will award what it deems as a reasonable sum to your spouse from the estate as a means of support for nine months. The support is intended for your spouse and any children who are dependent financially upon you when you die. The children can be either minors or adults.
If you have children who have passed away already and they had their own children, your grandchildren would then receive the share that otherwise would have gone to your deceased child. The share would be evenly split among the living grandchildren. Even in the event you have been separated from your spouse at the time of your death, the spouse still is entitled to receive an inheritance.
When You Do Not Have a Spouse
If you’re widowed, divorced or single when you die and do not have any children, the estate you leave behind is to be divided between your parents, your siblings or any other relatives. (This is according the Probate Act.)
If you were widowed, divorced or single at the time of your death and do have children, then your estate will be divided equally between your children.
If you have children who are dependent on you for financial support at the time of your passing, the court can also award them a sum of money out of your estate. This is regardless of whether they are adults or minors. The funds are to be utilized as support for the children for a nine-month period. It goes to a guardian or other type of representative upon the behalf of the children.
If You Do Not Have Any Living Relatives
When someone passes away in the state of Illinois who does not have any living, known relatives, their property will go to:
-The county where the person lived or to the state.
-Any of the person’s distant known relatives who can be located.
This is only a brief summary of the way that property transfers according to the Probate Act. There can be an exception in some cases. If you decide that you want to create a will, call our offices to consult with a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL.
If You Want to Revoke or Make a Change to Your Will
This is another understandable question many people have for their Wills Lawyer Elgin IL. Life can be very unpredictable at times and circumstances can change over the years. In Illinois, you can revoke or make alterations to a will at any given time. In order to revoke a will, you can:
-Tear, cancel or burn the document yourself.
-Instruct another party to tear, cancel or burn the document in your presence.
-Create a new will which states that it revokes the older one.
-Create a will that contradicts the older version. Your Wills Lawyer Elgin IL can provide guidance on how to do this.
-Write a document that states you’re revoking the older will while utilizing the same protocols that you used for making the original version.
If you are divorced or if the court decides that your marriage isn’t legal, law in Illinois revokes language within your will which leaves properties to your spouse or that appoints your spouse as an executor.
If you have concerns regarding the effects that a divorce may have upon your will, call our law offices to talk to a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL for assistance.
If you determine that you want to make some updates to your existing will, it’s usually best to simply revoke it and then create a new document with the guidance of a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL. However, when the changes you would like to make are simple, you could consider adding an amendment to your current will, which is known as a codicil. But in either situation, you will have to finalize the changes using the same practices that were applied in the making of the original will.
Call 847-628-8311 for a confidential and free consultation with a Wills Lawyer Elgin IL.
*The state of Illinois is among a few states that will technically allow an electronic will. However, this is relatively new and the requirements for creating an electronic will that is valid can be complex. Consequently, the practice is not common. For more information talk to your Wills Lawyer Elgin IL.