In Cook County, Illinois, many of the pitfalls that sometimes come with a will, such as would-be beneficiaries challenging its validity, or devises which don't make it clear who gets what (resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation) can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.
If your estate doesn't contain a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few individuals, making a will can be pretty simple.
Nonetheless, even if the will is comparatively simple, some problems which are very easy to avoid can still complicate the process. A reputable Cook County, Illinois wills and trusts lawyer can help you avoid these problems.
Many problems with wills can be caused by failing to follow the necessary formalities. These requirements are not very complex, but they need to be followed scrupulously. If not, the will might be found to be invalid. In almost every state, the will must be witnessed and signed by two disinterested parties, and must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a last will and testament.
Holographic Wills in Cook County, Illinois
In some states, testators are allowed to make "holographic wills." This is a will which the testator hand-writes, in his or her own handwriting. Such wills do not need to have any witnesses to be given effect.
Holographic wills, assuming they're recognized, are interpreted very broadly. This gives them the best possible chance of actually being implemented, since they will rarely be invalidated on technicalities.
You should be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) required for any other will.
If your state recognizes them, a holographic will might be a good option if you have a very small estate, and wish to make very simple devises. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to at least have an attorney review your will for completeness and clarity, even if you aren't having the attorney draft it from scratch.
How Can A Cook County, Illinois Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that must accompany most wills, it might be prudent to have a Cook County, Illinois attorney help you draft it.