In this article, we will discuss the process for revoking your will in Illinois. We will cover process for revoking a will, revocation through another will, revocation through writing and how to destroy a will. Follow this process if you are looking to discard or cancel a will you have already formally filed. To start a new will, see our article on How to Create a Will.
Life changes, and you may decide that the will you created is no longer the direction you would like your estate to go in. You may want to revoke or invalidate that will in order to insure that you assets are given to the correct people in your life with as little stress as possible for your loved ones. In Illinois, there are a few ways to legally declare a will void or revoke it after it is officially documented.
You may benefit from consulting an attorney when revoking your will. An estate planning attorney will know the best options for revocation and can direct you towards the option that is most cost effective and foolproof for your needs. They can also guide you through the process of forming a new estate plan if you would like to change how your estate is divided upon your death after your previous will is invalid.
When revoking a will, be sure that you want to entirely invalidate your previous will. You may simply want to update elements of the will such as changing beneficiaries or adding new property. If this is the case, invalidating your will would likely be a much more complex solution to a more simple problem. If you only wish to update your existing will, this process is not recommended for you.
The most common way of revoking a previous will is by establishing a new will that reflects what your current wish and assets are. There are two ways of doing this:
When you are creating a new will to replace your previous one, it is likely because you are making significant changes to your will or estate plan. When drafting a new will, you should include a statement declaring that you are revoking any previous wills. You will also be including dates of filing the new will, which will be used to officially prove that the new will was created after the previous one. Be sure to inform your attorney and trust loved ones of your new will so they will search for the updated will. You may also want to destroy copies of the previous will to avoid confusion.
In your new will, be sure to update any elements that may have changed between previous wills and new ones, including beneficiaries who may have passed away or disconnected and new property or assets that have been added. You may want to compare the old will to assure you have made the changes necessary. Be sure to consult with your attorney to assure that the new will is filed correctly.
Another common means of invalidating a will is through simply destroying the original. This is usually used by those who do not want to create a new will and simply want to revoke their established will. When destroying a will, there are a few steps to take to assure all ground is covered.
When revoking your will through a legal document, you will be able to legally declare your will invalid without forming a new will in its place. You can do this through writing a Codicil, a legal document that serves as an update, revision or addition to a previous document. In this codicil, you can simply declare that the entire will is invalid or update it to invalidate only specific portions of the will. You should follow a specific process when filing this codicil:
If you are looking for an estate planning attorney in the Chicago area, or would like to schedule a consultation regarding you will or other legal matter. We would be happy to help. You can call us at 630-324-6666, email at email@example.com, or visit our website, OFlaherty-Law.com.