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Will

My mother passed away in June and had a Will done.I was not mentioned in the Will at all She also had a second Will but never signed it. My brother who is the executor wants me to sign appearance and consent. Is the second Will valid in the eye of the court? I have no idea if I am in the second Will.

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In your state (and, for that matter, every state with which I am familiar), to be valid, a will must signed by the testator (person making the will, or your mother) in the presence of two witnesses, who each then also sign in each other's presence. An unsigned will is not valid and cannot be made valid after the would-be testator's death, since there is no more opportunity for her to sign. So the 2nd will is not valid.
If you sign an appearance and consent, you give up your right to be heard and challenge any wills (like the first one). Don't do this if there is any chance that you think you may wish to challenge. Note that if the first will were also to be challenged and found invalid, as a surviving child, you'd inherit under "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will), so you may wish to preserve your right to challenge if something comes up to make you think there is something wrong with the will.


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