Many of the dilemmas that sometimes come up with wills in Riverside, Illinois, such as contests brought by would-be beneficiaries, or devises which aren't clear on what they mean, can be avoided if the will is properly drafted in the first place.

If your estate does not have a huge amount of assets, your assets are limited to cash and personal belongings, and you wish to leave all your property to your immediate family and friends, the process of drafting your will is likely to be fairly simple.

But be warned: even a relatively simple will can encounter problems in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An experienced Riverside, Illinois lawyer will greatly reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.

A significant percentage of the problems that prevent wills from taking effect are caused by failing to follow the required formalities in will preparation. In most states, wills need to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who have no direct interest in the matter. They also have to include a clear written statement that the document is, in fact, the testator's will. It also has to be witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses cannot be anyone who has a direct interest in the will, which includes close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.

Holographic Wills in Riverside, Illinois

In some states, you can make what is known as a "holographic will." This is simply a will which is handwritten, in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.

Holographic wills are typically construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will usually look at the common definition of words, and use other common-sense principles when it comes to interpreting a holographic will. This is necessary to avoid conflicts, and increase the chances that the testator's wishes are honored.

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 valid, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) needed for any other will.

If they are allowed in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a large amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. However, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.

How Can A Riverside, Illinois Lawyer Help?

Because there are certain formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a Riverside, Illinois attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.