Section 8-1 of the Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS 5/8-1, provides a six-month period to contest a will's validity after the will has been admitted to probate.
" Law Pulse, May 2008 IBJ, addresses arguments on both sides of destroying a will upon the testator's revoking it and making a new one or maintaining it and filing it and any subsequently made wills with the court upon the testator's death.
This type of hearing involves bringing the (usually two) witnesses to a decedent’s Will into court to testify under oath as to the authenticity of their signatures and the circumstances surrounding the execution of the Will.
However, several of her heirs at law filed a will contest.
As part of that proceeding, around three years after Ellis's death, Bauman filed Ellis's 1964 will with the court.
Maybe the witnesses on the Will didn’t really sign their names or didn’t see the testator sign. due to possible lack of capacity or undue influence), it is almost always a good idea to start with a formal proof of will hearing prior to the will contest to put the witnesses on the record and to elicit any useful facts or discrepancies. It is not in itself a will contest hearing, so proving lack of capacity or undue influence will not invalidate the will at this stage.
As long as the witnesses testify to the recitations in the attestation clause, then the probate judge will confirm admission of the will to probate, unless there is sufficient proof of fraud, forgery, compulsion or other improper conduct. If the deadline is missed (as long as proper notice was given) then the hearing is no longer available.
When executed properly, a Will should include an “attestation clause” prior to the signature block for the witnesses.
The attestation clause basically recites the legal requirements for a valid Illinois Will — that the testator (maker of Will) and the two witnesses all signed the Will in each others presence and the witnesses believed that the testator was of sound mind and memory.
restricting its holding to the facts before it, the court declined to extend its holding to plaintiffs who fail to bring tort claims within the period for filing a will contest where the will contest remedy is available to them.