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Our law firm provides general
law services, including:

Estate Planning
     Wills, Trusts, Probate,
     Health Care Proxies,
     Powers of Attorney, Living Wills,
     Tax and Probate Avoidance

Elder Law
     Guardianships, Conservatorships,
     Medicare, Medicaid and
     Assisted Living

Adoption
     Adoptions for Single Parents, Parents,
     Blended Families, Grandparents,
     New Babies, DHS - Department of
     Human Services

Family Law
     Domestic Relations, Divorce
Business and Corporate Law
     Incorporating, Limited Liability
     Company, and Debt Collection

Real Estate Law
     Contracts, Deeds, Notes, Mortgages
Personal Injury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
What is a Will?

A will is a document for transferring your assets following your death to the people to whom you want to leave your assets.

How do I prepare a Will?

You can prepare your will in your own handwriting and sign it. This is called a holographic will. (It is rumored that attorneys make more money on straightening out problems with holographic wills than they make in writing proper wills. For instance, I had a client whose father prepared his own will and left his daughter all of his real and personal property but left his other assets 50% to the Watchtower Society and 50% to others. His daughter only got about 1/10th of his estate and the rest went to the Watchtower Society and others.)

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 children. If they have 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, then it must be witnessed by 2 disinterested witnesses.

Is a Will probated?

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

The probate Judge must approve the activities of the personal representative, and the personal representative is required to post a bond and file an inventory and an accounting, unless the beneficiaries waive these requirements or the Will waives these requirements.

Who will inherit from me? 

You can leave your estate to whomever you select. You do not have to leave your children anything as long as you name 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. Of course, when your spouse dies following your death, then the house will go to your spouse’s heirs or beneficiaries under your spouse’s will.

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.

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.



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