What is a Will?

A will is a document that transfers your estate following your death to the people to whom you want to leave your assets.

How do I prepare a Will?

It is strongly recommended that you consult an attorney to assist you in preparing a will. We would be more than happy to assist you.

In Arkansas, a person must know 3 things to prepare a will. He or she must know their natural heirs. They must know the approximate value of their estate, and they must know to whom they want to leave their estate.

The natural heirs would be their spouse, if they have one, and their child or children, if they have any. If they have no spouse and no children, then it would be their parents. If their parents are deceased, then it would be their brothers and sisters. 

In Arkansas, a properly executed will must be signed by the testator/testatrix and, if it is typed, it must be witnessed by 2 disinterested witnesses.

Is a Will probated?

Yes. In Arkansas, a will must be probated following a person’s death to be proven to be that person’s last will. Probating cuts off claims against the estate if the claim is not made within 6 months of the date of first publication of the notice of probate in the local newspaper.

The probate Judge must approve the activities of the personal representative.              

Who will inherit from me? 

You may leave your estate to whomever you select. You do not have to leave your children anything as long as you list them in your will. You don’t have to leave your spouse anything. However, if you and your spouse have been married for more than a year, your spouse can claim against your will and receive 1/3 of your estate. 

What is my estate?

Your estate includes everything you own or exercise control over. 

It can be real estate, which is land and anything permanently attached to the land. It can be personal property. Personal property is anything other than land. 

Joint ownership of real property with right of survivorship takes that property out of your estate when you die if the joint owner is still alive. For instance, if you and your spouse own your home as husband and wife, then upon your death, the house goes to your spouse by right of survivorship. When your spouse dies, the house will go according to your spouse’s will, and if your spouse does not have a will, then it will go to your spouse's heirs.

What else should I know about my Will and Probate?  

Probate expenses normally run between 3 to 7 percent of what goes through probate.

A Testator is a male, 18 years of age or older, who makes a will.

A Testatrix is a female, 18 years of age or older, who makes a will.

An Executor is a male who serves as the personal representative for an estate.

An Executrix is a female who serves as the personal representative for an estate. 

An Administrator is a person appointed by the Probate Court to serve as the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate who dies without a will.

A personal representative is the person either named in the Will or appointed by the court to handle a person’s estate after the person is deceased. The personal representative is responsible to the Probate Judge for his/her actions while handling the estate of the deceased. A personal representative is either an executor, executrix, or administrator.

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The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We ask you to contact us by telephone, letter or electronic mail. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send us any confidential information until requested.