Illinois Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Illinois

Note:    This summary is not intended to provide an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Illinois, but does include basic and other information.  This summary does not include hand written wills.

Who may make a will: Every person who has attained the age of 18 years and is of sound mind and memory may make a will. 755 ILCS 5/4-1

Signing and attestation: Every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator and attested in the presence of the testator by 2 or more credible witnesses. 755 ILCS 5/4-3

Beneficiary as witness: If a will shall leave property to a witness (or spouse of a witness) to a will, the provision to the witness is void as to that witness, unless the will is witnessed by at least 2 other independent witnesses.  However, the witness is entitled to receive so much of the interest given to him by the will to the extend that he would have received if the will had not been made. (i.e. under the laws of intestate succession).755 ILCS 5/4-6

Revocation of a will A will may be revoked only

(1)   by burning, cancelling, tearing or obliterating it by the testator himself or by some person in his presence and by his direction and consent
(2) by the execution of a later will declaring the revocation,
(3) by a later will to the extent that it is inconsistent with the prior will or
(4) by the execution of an instrument declaring the revocation and signed and attested in the manner prescribed by this Article for the signing and attestation of a will.

No will or any part thereof is revoked by any change in the circumstances, condition or marital status of the testator, except that dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of the marriage of the testator revokes every legacy or interest or power of appointment given to or nomination to fiduciary office of the testator’s former spouse in a will executed before the entry of the judgment of dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of marriage and the will takes effect in the same manner as if the former spouse had died before the testator.

A will which is totally revoked in any manner is not revived other than by its re-execution or by an instrument declaring the revival and signed and attested in the manner prescribed by this Article for the signing and attestation of a will. If a will is partially revoked by an instrument which is itself revoked, the revoked part of the will is revived and takes effect as if there had been no revocation. 755 ILCS 5/4-7


Inside Illinois Last Will and Testament Law