After a person dies, their will does not automatically become effective or enforceable. Namely, once a person dies, their named executor, the person designated at the time of the drafting of the will, must file the will with the court located where the decedent last resided.
In Illinois, a person holding a will has 30 days after a person’s death to file the will and prevent others from moving forward as if the person died without a will. In the event someone intentionally hides, destroys, or alters a will, they can be charged with a Class 3 Felony. A will is a very important document and should be treated as such.
In order to record a will, the person who is in possession of the will should take the original will to the applicable County Clerk’s office where the descendent last resided. Once filed, the will must also be submitted to the appropriate court, alongside a petition and other required documents for the court’s review and determination of whether the will is valid. For a will to be valid in Illinois, the will must be (1) in writing, (2) signed by the decedent, and (3) signed by two adult witnesses who signed with each other and in the presence of the decedent. If these requirements are met, the will is admitted to probate.
Once the will has been admitted, the executor is issued “letters of office” wherein the executor can then follow through with the provision of the will and division of the estate pursuant to the written will.
Call Kiswani Law today to see how our experienced attorneys can help you with the drafting of your will.