A will is a crucial component of any estate plan. This legal document sets out instructions on how your assets should be divided upon your death. In your will, you are also able to nominate legal guardians who can look after your young children should you pass away.
Thus, it goes without saying that a will is a very important estate planning tool. To function as intended, the testator must take all of the appropriate steps as required by state law. Failure to adhere to the legal protocols of the relevant state could result in will contests.
Outlined below are a few factors that could invalidate a will in Illinois.
For a will to be valid, the testator must be fully aware of what the terms of the document mean. They must also have a firm grasp of the value of their assets and how they will be distributed according to the will. This is referred to as testamentary capacity.
In some cases, the testator may lack the testamentary capacity required to draft a valid will, and this can also leave them open to undue influence. Essentially, undue influence occurs when an interested party forces the testator to make changes or provisions to the benefit of that interested party. For example, a carer may know that the testator is vulnerable and, thus, pressure them into leaving them significant assets in the will.
The existence of previous wills
Generally, a newly drafted will will have authority over previous documents. However, the safest way to avoid confusion is to destroy previous wills. Another way to ensure that the new will takes precedence is for it to expressly state that it will replace any previous versions.
When drafting a will, it’s important to adhere to the laws of the state and avoid any confusion. By having legal guidance behind you, you can ensure that all of the appropriate steps are taken so that your will prevails.