What if someone doesn’t like the terms of your will? Can your will be challenged or overturned? Your will can be contested if someone in your family or who has a legal claim to your estate doesn’t like the terms of your will or who you left your money or assets to or how much you left someone. Someone may allege that you lacked the full mental capacity at the time you signed your will. An estate litigation attorney can protect your rights and your interests and work with you to prevent or minimize future challenges. One strategy to prevent challenges to your well is to create a self-proving affidavit for your will. In Illinois, a self-proving affidavit is an attachment to a last will and testament to prove to the probate court that a will is authentic.
While not required by Illinois law, in order for the self-proving affidavit to hold up in probate court it is recommended that:
• you sign your will in front of 2 witnesses
• each witness sign and date the affidavit
• a notary public is present when the affidavit is signed
This optional self-proving affidavit can expedite the probate process to settle your estate and speed up the transfer of assets to your beneficiaries because witnesses don’t need to vouch for the will in probate court.
Someone who is determined to challenge your will can sue your estate despite all your efforts. But there are steps you can take to minimize the chance that they will be successful and to make it less likely your estate will incur costly and time-consuming estate litigation.
An Illinois estate planning lawyer can protect your rights and your interests, and work with you to prevent or minimize potential challenges to your will. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Oak Brook can give you advice and discuss your legal options. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.