Does a will have to be notarized in the state of Illinois.

Asked over 1 year ago - Matteson, IL

My husband pass away a few months ago. He left a will signed by two witnesses. He was an Attorney so he did the Will himself. He said the Will didn't need to be notarized. We live in the state of Illnois, and I heard that it has to notarized, is that true?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Paul A. Smolinski

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the Will has the proper "attestation" language it does not need to be notarized in Illinois. However, it may not matter if you and your husband owned assets jointly or you were named as beneficiary on other assets. You should talk with a local probate attorney to help guide you at this time of readjustment.

    Best wishes!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his... more
  2. David A. Semmelman

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As Mr. Frederick said a will does not have to be notarized to be valid in Illinois. A properly notarized will is self-proving which means that the witnesses normally do not have to come to court. To have a will that has not been notarized admitted to probate, the witnesses will need to appear in court.

    The terms of a will are not effective unless a probate estate is opened.

  3. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . A Will must be notarized by someone not involved in the Will. The notary attests to the fact that the witnesses observed the testator signature and that the testator was of sound mind and not being coerced.

  4. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Short answer: no need for a notary.

    Longer answer: A Will must be in writing, signed by the testator and by two witnesses. If the testator cannot physically sign his name he may direct another party to do so. This party may not be one of the witnesses. Each witness must sign the Will in the testator’s presence. (See: Section 755 ILCS 5/4-3)

    If a Will’s authenticity is unchallenged it may be probated in a simplified procedure if it has been self-proven. Witnesses to a self-proven Will are not required to testify in court because the court automatically accepts a self-proven Will as authentic. To self-prove a Will the witnesses must sign an attestation clause in the Will or swear in an affidavit before a notary to the authenticity of the Will. The affidavit should be part of the Will or attached to it. (See: Section 755 ILCS 5/6-4)

    So only a self-proved Will needs to be notarized. You do not need to have a self-proved Will for it to be valid.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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