An Illinois Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows an individual, referred to as a Testator, to declare how they would like to distribute the assets of their estate after their death. These assets may include cash, property, personal belongings and anything else that the Testator may own. In Illinois, wills are governed and enforced by Chapter 755 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, which dictate that the Testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind and memory. Furthermore, once the will has been completed, the Testator must have two (2) witnesses sign in his or her presence before the will may take effect. Additionally, these statutes govern other types of wills as well. For example, emergency situations, a Testator may employ an Oral Will, formerly known as a Nuncupative Will, or a Handwritten WIll, formally known as a Holographic Will. However, Illinois does not recognize either of these and will not enforce them as valid wills.
To complete a last will and testament in the state of Illinois, a Testator would need a few simple, yet detailed pieces of information. The first piece of information that the Testator would need to provide is his or her full name and address. Once this has been provided, the Testator must appoint an Executor. Once the Executor has been named, the Testator will then start to list his or her wishes. These wishes will cover important facts like who will inherit what, where liquid assets will go, and even funeral and repass arrangements. Once all of the Testator's wishes have been recorded and the will is completed to the standards that Illinois requires, the Testator and his or her two (2) witnesses may sign so the will may take effect.