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Mistakes That Can Make a Will Legally Non-Binding

 Posted on November 10, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerEstate planning is a beneficial process that allows people to determine how their assets will be distributed upon their death. However, there are certain mistakes that can render a will legally non-binding, leading to unintended consequences. If you are interested in creating or updating your estate plan, it is crucial to understand the costly mistakes you must try to avoid making. One of the best ways to ensure no mistakes are made in your estate plan is by hiring a lawyer

Mistakes are often made when people neglect to hire a lawyer and try to take the case on themselves. Do-it-yourself estate planning strategies are a recipe for disaster, as you are far better off going to an experienced lawyer for assistance in this matter.

Improper Execution

One of the most common mistakes that can make an Illinois will legally non-binding is improper execution. Each state has specific requirements for executing a will, such as the presence of witnesses or notarization. Failing to meet these requirements can render the will invalid. To avoid this mistake, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your state‚Äôs laws regarding will execution or consult an experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure compliance. 

Lack of Mental Capacity

For a will to be legally binding, the testator must have testamentary capacity, meaning they must be of sound mind and understand the implications of their decisions. If it can be proven that the testator lacked mental capacity at the time they made the will, the will itself may be deemed non-binding. To prevent this, it is advisable to create a will while in good health and consult an attorney if there are concerns about mental capacity. Additionally, involving a medical professional in the process can help establish testamentary capacity. 

Undue Influence 

This occurs when a person pressures or manipulates the person creating the will, also known as the testator, into making decisions that will benefit them. If it can be proven that the testator was unduly influenced by someone while creating their will, the will may be able to be invalidated. To avoid this, it is important to create a will in a neutral and independent environment. In cases where undue influence may be suspected, involving a lawyer can provide an added layer of protection. 

Contact a Lombard, IL Estate Planning Lawyer

For legal assistance in the creation of your will, look no further than the esteemed DuPage County, IL estate planning attorneys with A. Traub & Associates. Call 630-426-0196 for a private consultation.

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