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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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