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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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A friend changed s formal Will in a letter and video and

Customer Question

A friend changed his formal Will in a letter and video and excluded his family from his will. He made me his power of attorney and left all his processions to me in the letter and video. Is this legal and do I now own what was his.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Under IL law, general requirements for a valid Will are: (a) the document must be written (meaning typed or printed), (b) signed by the person making the Will (usually called the “testator” or “testatrix”, and (c) signed by two witnesses who were present to witness the execution of the document by the maker and who also witnessed each other sign the document. For the will to be valid 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.

Thus, the written letter must follow the above guidelines to be valid in IL, the video is not a valid will under IL law because it is not in writing. If the letter complies with the IL requirements for a valid will, then you can enforce the will an file it for probate in the probate court.