Free Arkansas Last Will and Testament



What is a Last Will and Testament?

An Arkansas Last Will and Testament is a formal document that details how your assets will be divided after you pass away. The individual who dies is formally known as the decedent. When the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament might also be used to specify someone they prefer to look after their children and who they wish to handle their children’s inheritance and finances until every child becomes an adult (usually 18, but it is possible to indicate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In an Arkansas Last Will, the decedent generally also appoints a personal representative-or co-personal representatives (more than one individuals acting jointly in this capacity) to manage the estate matters. A personal representative is someone who collects the information in relation to the decedent’s financial obligations and assets, pays off any unpaid debts with the assets, and ensures that the decedent’s property is distributed as written in the last will, making this a role with quite a bit of responsibility. The personal representative picked is generally a person the will creator really trusts to execute their last will.

In case someone dies without having a legitimate Arkansas Will (which for most states means it must be correctly witnessed, not just signed), somebody will typically be chosen by the probate court to be the personal agent and cover the decedent’s outstanding debts, using assets as necessary to do so. Consequently, the remaining assets will be distributed amongst the decedent’s beneficiaries as per the rules of the state the will creator resided in.

In several states, when one spouse passes away leaving behind their partner, that surviving spouse will obtain all the decedent’s property in the absence of a Will declaring the opposite. In other cases, the decedent may have selected a certain person to obtain a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and this beneficiary designation will determine who receives those assets without a Last Will and Testament.

The crucial thing to know is that anybody who wishes to specify exactly how their possessions will be used after their passing should make and appropriately execute a Last Will to ensure their wishes are recognized and followed. With no last will, you might be leaving it up to chance, the legislation of the state, or a lawcourt as to just how your very last affairs will be taken care of.

Last Will Forms in Arkansas

Key Terms And Notions

A last will is both a legal form and a process of administering the deceased's estate under the supervision of a court. This simple form can be mutually beneficial for both parties - the testator (the author of the will) and his heirs (those who inherit the assets, be it the spouse, kids, parents, other relatives, or legal entities). The assets can comprise a wide variety of things - from bank accounts to jewelry, vehicles, and family heirlooms, and today we're going to explain why creating a last will on time is indeed a smart option for residents of every state including Arkansas.

Is it legally binding to compile Last Will in Arkansas?

Formally, last will and testament papers in Arkansas are not binding, yet without a will, Arkansas laws of intestacy will decide on the sharing of the decedent's own properties which, in many cases, runs counter his wishes and plans.

Last will and testament turn out to be a profitable action in terms of carrying out the wishes and managing the properties wisely: first, it provides for personal responsibility for the estate (through appointing a personal representative), next, it can handle the care of minor children (by selecting a guardian), or help build a pet trust or a testamentary trust (the one that cares for people) instead of allowing the court to decide for you.

Legal Terms and Conditions for a Last Will in Arkansas

Before the terms and conditions of a will can be confirmed, the will must be proven in an inheritance court. After that, an executor (a person appointed by the testator to be legally responsible for the sharing of inheritance) has to pay the fees, debts, and taxes due on the estate and proceed to transfer the decedent's assets according to the will.

In Arkansas, if an estate is worth less than $ 50,000 (excluding the estate and other surviving spouse and child benefits) and no claim is filed against it, any Arkansas probate beneficiary has the right to petition the court to waiver the probate procedure.

Here is a concise list of requirements and terms for creating the last will in Arkansas:

  • The testator can not be underage which means less than 18 years old;

  • The testator must be of sound mind which ensures making an independent and willful decision on the distribution of the assets mentioned in the Last Will;

  • The laws in Arkansas allow for sharing the assets with an unlimited number of people including a person's spouse, children, distant relatives, acquaintances and friends, and so on. Similarly, the inheritance may be transferred to a charity organization;

  • The document has to be validated properly and signed by at least two witnesses and the testator himself, all present at the moment;

  • The document must be provided in written form (a crucial detail: Arkansas can recognize holographic wills, whether attested or not, in case they are fully handwritten and signed by the testator himself);

  • The Arkansas Last Will can transfer property to any beneficiary.

Keep in mind that in Arkansas, there is a particular term within which one has to file Probate after death: according to the Arkansas Code, a will must be submitted to the courts within five years since the person's death.

How Are the Terms of a Will Accepted?

To compile a valid will in Arkansas, the testator should declare to two or more witnesses that the document is indeed your will. Their presence is obligatory during the last will signing procedure. The witnesses should in turn sign the will to make sure that its execution was performed properly and they can attest to its validity.

It is a must-know that not all types of property may be distributed by the last will in Arkansas. Among the exceptions, there are entities in a joint lease with inheritance rights that cannot be entrusted. Neither can one change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy according to Arkansas will.

In case that the decedent's estate in Arkansas was estimated as less than $ 50,000 (with an exception of a spouse and child's estate plus other benefits) and no action has been filed against the spouse of that person, any probate receiver in Arkansas can request the court to postpone the probate procedure.

Can I Change The Content of My Last Will or Abolish It?

An Arkansas last will and testament may be modified or even revoked at any time before the testator’s death through compiling a subsequent will form or a codicil performed with similar formal requirements so as to be of full legal force. In such an event, the previous will has to be destroyed physically or be legally replaced with a new will form.

What Will Happen to My Property if I Don't Have a Last Will In Arkansas?

According to the Arkansas laws, a person is not enforced by law to draft and present the Last Will form. However, in this case, such a person acquires the legal status of an "intestate", and the rights to his assets will be distributed to his spouse (as it follows from Arkansas laws, a spouse has to gain a particular amount of shares - mostly ?, according to the doctrine named “dower and curtesy”), or children, parents, or other close or distant relatives. Such a procedure may last considerably longer, and it is the state court that defines the shares.

Last Will Forms for Neighboring States