How Long Do I Have to Contest a Will in Illinois?

  • Estate Litigation
  • Illinois Probate Law
  • Probate
how long do I have to contest a will in illinois | estate and probate legal group

The reading of a will can be an emotional turmoil. The reality is that not everyone in your family may agree with the terms created in a will and choose to contest it. There are legitimate reasons why someone may want to contest a will in Illinois and ensuring that the will is contested within the legal timeframe can be critical to successfully challenging the will.

Contesting a will is when you legally challenge the will in court.

When to Contest a Will

The person who wishes to contest the will must be personally impacted by the will, ie have ‘standing’ with the court. This can include heirs, family members, a spouse or ex-spouse or someone who was in a business relationship with the deceased. The validity of a will can be contested based upon:

  • fraud or forgery
  • under the influence of someone else
  • the mental capacity of the individual
  • interpretation of the documents

Once it has been determined that you can contest the will, you must act within the legal timeframe. Section 8-1 of the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS 5/8-1 says interested parties have a 6-month time limit to contest an estate once it enters probate. However, the time limit to contest an estate does not apply when the estate executor or beneficiaries deliberately interfered with an interested party’s ability to challenge the will.

Suppose someone is fighting to take something away from you that was rightfully yours. In that case,  you may need to seek legal representation from an estate litigation lawyer. Sometimes, a civil lawsuit can get the inheritance you deserve, plus punitive damages.

Working with an Estate Litigation Lawyer

When a loved one passes away, it’s normal for family members to want to keep the property or essential assets. But when several parties disagree on who should keep those assets and memories, fighting can ensue. A disagreement among family members can quickly turn into a bitter feud when a will is concerned.

Wills, trusts and estate litigation involves specific state laws that can be complex to unravel and fight. An experienced Illinois estate litigation lawyer can help define the terms of the will, legally challenge what is wrong and negotiate when necessary.

Oak Brook Estate Litigation Attorney

If you have questions about contesting a will, an experienced Illinois estate litigation lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified estate attorney in Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.