Many years ago ( in the 60s and 70s ) I was a legal secretary in Chicago and the requirement at the time was at least two witnesses and a notarized attestation clause . Need to know if that has changed . Thanks .
Thank you for your prompt response, Mr. Fason. Actually, my question is with regard to a Will being drafted for an IL resident so I wanted to know if the requirements in place 30 - 40 years ago are still the same.
The requirements vary with the type of document. In Texas, many contracts and documents are valid with no witness and no notarization. Sometimes the drafter will add a provision for a witness even though it is not legally required. When it comes to a Last Will and Testament, there must be two witneses and the requirements of the contents of the attestation are very particular (e.g., "the testator declared to me that it was his will and signed it in front of me").
The requirements from Chicago may still be the same, and may or may not have been the same as Texas.
Answering a question through the AVVO forum does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does any followup email. Do not send any confidential information as any right you have to confidentiality is waived (given up) when you post it through AVVO or send it by email. John Fason customarily does not agree to an attorney-client relationship unless there is a written contract describing the representation.
The standard practice in Texas is for a minimum of two witnesses to sign a statement stating they witnessed the signing of the will. Additionally, the will would have a self-proving affidavit. It's probably not a bad idea to hire an attorney if you are drafting a will. My assumption is that Texas is a lot different from Illinois considering Texas is a community property state.
The above statements are provided as general information and not intended as legal advice. Each matter has its own set of unique circumstances that cannot be adequately addressed without consultation. You are strongly advised to hire an attorney licensed to practice law in your state to represent you.
The responses are correct for Texas wills. Hopefully, someone from Illinois can add comment to confirm whether the Illinois requirements are still the same today as they were back then.
This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.