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What Makes a Will Valid? Learn About Law

the following BL TV program is brought

to you by O'Flaherty law

please enjoy welcome to learn about law

my name's kevin o Flaherty from

O'Flaherty law and today we're gonna

talk about what is required for a will

to be valid in Illinois so let's first

talk about the elements of a valid will

and then we'll discuss handwritten wills

holographic wills and foreign wills and

in which situations each of those can be

valid if they even can be so first the

elements of a valid will in Illinois are

that the creator is at least 18 years

old and of sound mind and understands

the has the mental capacity to

understand the consequences of his or

her actions in creating the will the

will has to be signed by the Creator in

the presence of at least two witnesses

who are also of sound mind and also at

least 18 years old and these witnesses

have to sign contemporaneously with the

Creator so that's it's really that

simple those are the requirements for a

will to be valid in Illinois but there's

a couple of specific scenarios that a

lot of people have questions about so

first let's talk about what a

handwritten will is it's not necessarily

something that's written in pen as

opposed to typed a handwritten will is a

will prepared by the author without the

aid of an attorney and these are valid

as long as they meet the other required

the requirements of any will in Illinois

so it's not required to have an attorney

prepared to or an attorney involved to

prepare will although we're going to

talk about later why it's pretty

important to do that anyway even though

it's not a legal requirement a question

people ask is can you make handwritten

changes to a will and the answer is

generally no so if you want to update a

will the proper way to do it is

something called the codasyl and this is

a modification of the existing will or

you can do a new will revoking the old

will any changes you make to a will have

to be done in this co2 cell according to

the same requirements that the initial

execution follows so you need to have

your changes of witnessed by two people

and so if you have a type of will you

can't just hand write on changes to it

even if you have the

witnesses come back and initial those

changes what you do is you do and an

amendment to your will called Lakota

style and execute it in the same way

that you did your initial will or just

do a new will entirely a holographic

will is a handwritten will that does not

have any witnesses and these are not

valid under any circumstances so that's

just a term of art holographic will is

someone leaves a letter and signs it

saying here's how I want my estate

divided if there's no witnesses this is

not valid a foreign well is a will that

was created in a different state so

these will generally be upheld in

Illinois as long as the creator resided

in the state that it was that it was

created in at the time that it was

created and it met with all the state

laws in that foreign state so even if it

didn't generally meet the requirements

of an Illinois will but it met the

requirements of a Nebraska will and the

person lived in Nebraska at the time and

later moved to Illinois the Illinois

probate courts will uphold the Nebraska

will the exception here is that

holographic wills ones that don't have

two witnesses are invalid under any

circumstances so if you have any

questions please leave them in the

comments section below our post at learn

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