160 S. Municipal Dr. Suite 100, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Kane County Last Will and Testament Attorneys

Aurora last will and testament attorney

Estate Planning Lawyers in Illinois

Preparing your estate is an important step in planning for the future. Regardless of the state of your assets, estate planning can help you ensure that your loved ones are provided for after you pass away. Careful planning can also help ensure that your medical wishes are honored in case you become incapacitated. Creating a will is important to do in the estate planning process. Before drafting your will, consider the information below.

What Is a Will?

Many Illinois residents have heard the phrase "last will and testament," but may be unsure what this means. The phrase "last will and testament" is a legal one that basically refers to the final version of your will. The phrase itself means that the will has been legally executed and contains your final wishes.

What exactly is a will? Your will is a legal document that specifies how you wish your property and assets, your estate, to be distributed after death. You will must be valid to be enforceable. Illinois state law has established the following validity requirements for wills:

  • The will must be in writing. A conversation about your wishes with a family member or your lawyer is not sufficient.
  • As the testator (the person creating the will), you must sign the document. If you are unable to sign it, you can authorize a proxy to do so. In that case, the proxy must sign the will in your presence.
  • The signing must happen in front of at least two witnesses.

All three of these steps must be completed before the will is considered valid.

What Can I Include in My Will?

Each individual has unique goals in mind for their wills. You may wish to leave certain property to a particular family member or friend. You may want to donate a portion of your estate to a charity. There are an almost endless number of variations that you can include in your will. It is simpler to discuss what cannot be included in your will.

Generally, you cannot "write out" or "disinherit" your spouse. Under Illinois law, a person retain a right to renounce their deceased spouse's will by filing a legal claim in court. Under the law, if your spouse renounces your will, they are entitled to a portion of the estate. Their estate share is one-third if you have surviving children. Otherwise, your spouse will receive one-half of the estate after renunciation.

Overall, a will gives you a great deal of flexibility to distribute your property after death. There may be some legal restrictions depending on your specific plans. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney about what is included in your will.

Aurora Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help

At the Law Office of James F. White, P.C., our experienced Sugar Grove estate planning attorney has over 20 years of legal experience. We use that experience to help clients throughout the Aurora and Kane County areas through their estate planning matters. Contact us today for a free initial evaluation of your case at 630-466-1600. We provide help with estate planning matters in Kane County, Kendall County, DuPage County, DeKalb County, and all throughout the Chicagoland area.


160 S. Municipal Dr. Suite 100, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

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