A Will is a written instrument that provides for the disposition of your estate when you die. It directs who receives your property, when and how they receive it and in what proportions. It names your executor and it names the guardian of your minor children. A Will can be revoked or changed at any time during your lifetime. A change to a Will is called a “Codicil” and requires the same formalities of a Will. Illinois law sets out several requirements that must be strictly followed in the making of a Will:
1. The person who makes a Will must be 18 years of age or older.
2. The Will must be in writing.
3. The Will must be signed by the person who makes it and it must be witnessed and signed by at least two persons in the manner required by law.
Why do I need a Will?
To prevent intestate distribution.
Without a Will, the court distributes your property according to the intestacy laws of your state. The State, in effect, drafts a will for you. You have no control over the matter and the laws are very ridged. For example, if you have a surviving spouse and a child when you die, the property that you own will pass as follows:
a. One-half to your surviving spouse, and
b. One-half to your children.
A Will can change this. With a Will you can make sure that your surviving spouse will inherit your estate.
To see how intestate property is distributed in Illinois click here.·
To see the “intestate will” for Penny Wise & Dollar Foolish click here.