Wills Attorneys in Jonesboro Helping To Prepare You and Your Loved Ones For The Future
A will can also be called a “last will and testament” and can be incredibly beneficial in protecting yourself and your property in the event of your death. Things like naming a personal guardian for your children, leaving your property to loved ones or organizations that you care about, or naming an executor that will make sure your wishes are carried out accordingly are all things that a will can document.
It can be an uneasy feeling to plan for what happens after your death. It can be even harder to imagine the things you’ve worked hard on or the care of your children being allocated to anyone other than your loved ones. This is why having a will in place can be of great importance to you and your family.
Contact our Jonesboro, AR offices today at (870) 336-6505 to speak with our team of experienced attorneys regarding setting up a will and how to get started.
What Are Important Things to Include in My Will?
There are many things to consider when creating a will. Some of the most important topics can include things like who will become the guardian of minor children should the other parent not be alive or able to care for them. Specific information regarding the disposition of physical property should also be included. A Power of Attorney or a Health Care Power of Attorney, or both, is also incredibly helpful to be named should you become incapacitated and not be able to make important decisions for yourself anymore, though these are separate from the will itself. Another important item you can include in a will is your wishes and desires surrounding the end of your life. This can be things like how you wish to be buried, what you want the funeral or memorial to look like, and more.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?
In the state of Arkansas, if you pass away without a will in place, your assets will be distributed according to the state “intestacy” laws. These laws are in place to allocate your assets to your spouse and children or other closest relatives. If there isn’t a living spouse or children upon your death, the next closest relatives, such as parents, grandchildren, and then aunts, uncles, and cousins, will receive your assets. On the rare occasions that there aren’t living relatives found either by blood or marriage, your assets become the property of the state.
What Are The Requirements of Making a Will in Arkansas?
There are a few requirements, namely that you be of 18 years of age or older and of sound mind in order to create a will. It must be done on paper rather than audio or video. Typing or printing is best. However, Arkansas does recognize handwritten wills, but they are usually not in your best interest as they can be altered without your consent.
To finalize your will, you must sign your will in front of two witnesses who must sign as well. Your witnesses should be disinterested parties to your will, meaning that you haven’t given anything in your will directly to them. If an “interested” party is witness to signing your will, they have a risk of losing what you allocated to them.
You don’t need to have your will notarized in the state of Arkansas; however, if you do, it can speed up the process upon your death as the parties involved don’t need the consent of the witnesses to proceed with your wishes.
Can I Make Changes to my Will?
You have the right to revoke or change your will at any time. You can do this by burning, tearing, obliterating, or destroying the will with the purpose of revoking it. You can also make a new one and express that the new one makes the previous will ineffectual or include contradictory terms that deem the old will no longer effective.
If you and your spouse are divorced, or the marriage is annulled, all items allocated to them or information regarding them is automatically revoked.
If you have minor changes to make to your will, you can choose to make amendments to your existing will and finalize them in the same way that you did your original will. It is best, however, to revoke your original and make a new will for clarity to all parties involved after your death.
Why Do I Need an Attorney To Create My Will?
It can be appealing to some to create their own wills, but it is also very beneficial to have a trusted and knowledgeable attorney to create one for you. A will is a legally binding document, and with that comes responsibilities for you and for those you allocate your assets to. This can be overwhelming for some, and relying on someone with multiple years of experience can help you to see a perspective you hadn’t yet thought of, as well as help you to see this experience professionally rather than emotionally.
If a will isn’t put together properly by following the legal requirements or clearly explaining your wishes, it can result in unnecessary additional legal costs, times, and stress for those left behind. Wills attorneys can also provide legal advice on how to prevent unauthorized changes to your will in the future, which can be more common than you think.
Contact OMG Law Firm at our Jonesboro, AR offices today at (870) 336-6505 to speak to one of our experienced estate planning attorneys regarding the creation of your will and what your options are. We have multiple years of experience in this category, and we are confident we can help you to achieve your goals for your and your family’s future.