In Illinois, wills are legally binding documents that detail what a person wants to happen to their assets after they pass away. These are intended to enforce the wishes of a deceased individual and therefore, live on after you have passed away to give courts and your beneficiaries clear instructions about what you intended to happen. The rules for creating and executing a will in Illinois are found in 755 ILCS 5/4-1 et seq.
What Happens When Probate Is Opened in Illinois?
Usually the process of probating a will in Illinois is relatively straightforward. However, wills can be contested when a family member or beneficiary believes that the will is not legally valid or that a more updated accurate copy exists.
If you find that this might be the case after a loved one passes away and you are shocked to find the contents of the submitted will, you may be eligible to hire an Illinois will contest lawyer to help you who will guide you through the process of what is required to file a will contest claim in court and what you can anticipate in terms of providing evidence and the typical life of a case like this.
What Do IL Courts Have to Say About Will Contests?
In the vast majority of cases, courts in Illinois are motivated to honor the primary terms of a testators will unless compelling evidence has been provided by someone showing that the will is not valid. If you suspect that a loved one’s will is not accurately reflective of their desires, a experienced counsel should be contacted as soon as possible. An experienced Illinois will contest lawyer can help you figure out whether or not your suspicion that the will is not accurate has deeper roots and whether or not you could be successful in filing a claim. Building a strong case is crucial to proceeding with a will contest claim.
Retaining a Lawyer
It is extremely challenging to honor a will. Without the support of a legal professional, this process can become that much more difficult and minor mistakes made early on in the case can have significant repercussions. Courts will view any given will as the overall voice of the testator, meaning that the person who created it, documented their intentions.
At the time that a person passes away the courts have the highest motivation to uphold any communicated wishes of the deceased so only a skilled will contest attorney in lllinois can help you make a claim that this document is not valid. You will need to present compelling evidence to the court during probate proceedings if you wish to contest a will. Factors such as manipulation, undue influence, fraud and forgery may be involved, such that they impacted what the testator included in the will that was filed with the court.
An experienced will contest attorney serving lllinois also plays other critical roles in your case, such as giving you an idea of how the legal process will unfold with regard to general timeline and the next steps in the case. Any questions that arise during this process can also be answered by your lawyer.
Circumstances Under Which a Will Can Be Contested
Being dissatisfied with the contents of a will is not enough for a court to approve your will contest claim. If you suspect that there are any heir eliminations, suspicious aspects or uncharacteristic provisions, you will need a legal team in Illinois to help you prepare to pursue a case based on these grounds. You should never go through this process alone as it can be overwhelming and you could make mistakes that can be costly. You are eligible to pursue cases in which you suspect that:
- The will was changed by a person other than the testator.
- The testator was tricked or coerced into a will modification at the last minute or at a time when they were not of sound mind. 755 ILCS 5/4-1
- The testator was unduly influenced by deception, fraud or coercion.