Your will, or your last will and testament, is an important document that contains how you wish to distribute your property (whether tangible property, real estate, or money). While making a will is similar in every state, there are differences. Every state has its own laws regarding making a will, so you want to be sure to follow the specific requirements for your state. To make an online last will and testament in Arkansas, be sure to use a template that is customized for the state.
Can I Make an Online Will in Arkansas?
Yes, you can make an online will in Arkansas. To do so, use an online will making service. We recommend USLegalWills to make a last will and testament online in Arkansas.
Here are the legal requirements for online will making in Arkansas:
- The Testator, or the person writing the will, must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.
- The will must be signed by at least two witnesses. These witnesses must be 18 years of age or older and be of sound mind.
- The witnesses must see the Testator sign the will or hear the Testator acknowledge that it is their signature, and the Testator must see the witnesses sign the will.
- After making an online will, you must print it out and sign it. Some states allow a digital-only will, which means the will can be made online, signed, and witnessed electronically without printing a paper copy. However, the state of Arkansas does not allow digital-only wills.
Though Arkansas will not invalidate a will with witnesses who are also beneficiaries, it can complicate the probate process and the beneficiary might lose some of what you left to them. That means the witnesses should be “uninterested parties,” or people who are not beneficiaries in the will.
Does Arkansas Require a Notarized Will?
No, the state of Arkansas does not require you to notarize your will to make it legal. But Arkansas does allow for “self-proving” wills, which would require you and your witnesses to sign a separate document in front of a notary public. Once you obtain a “self-proving affidavit,” you attach it to your will and your will is considered fully validated. This speeds up the probate process because now the court will accept the will without needing the witnesses to testify.
Can I Name an Executor in Arkansas?
Yes, you can name an executor for your estate in an online will in Arkansas. An executor is the person who settles your estate and who ensures that your will is followed after your death. It is a good idea to pick someone you know and trust as your executor. If you do not name an executor, then the probate court will appoint one.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Arkansas:
- The person must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
- The person must not have been convicted of a felony.
To name an executor who lives out-of-state, there are some specific guidelines in Arkansas:
- Your out-of-state executor must appoint someone who lives in the county where the estate is being probated to act as an agent. Your out-of-state executor’s in-state agent will then accept any legal documentation related to your estate.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Arkansas?
No, you do not need an attorney to make a will. You can make an online will in Arkansas without an attorney as long as you follow the legal requirements for it to be valid. However, if your estate is very large or complex, it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney. But if your estate is simple and your will is straightforward, making an online will is a good option. Just be sure to use an online will making service that is customized for Arkansas.
What Types of Wills are Valid in Arkansas?
Whether you make a will online or not, any type of will which meets the federal and state-specific requirements will be considered valid in Arkansas.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas does accept holographic wills. A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament. In Arkansas, a holographic will is valid if the entire body of the will and the signature are in the Testator’s handwriting. However, a holographic will has to go through a validation process in order for it to be considered authentic. The state of Arkansas requires three credible and disinterested individuals—meaning people who are not beneficiaries in the will—to establish, in court, that it is your handwriting and signature in order to validate a holographic will. This can often cause delays.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Arkansas?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, which sometimes is done in a video. The state of Arkansas does not recognize nuncupative wills. It may be accepted after an exhaustive legal process if it is a last resort made immediately before your death.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Arkansas?
A living will, also called an advance directive, is a legal document which gives instructions on medical decisions and end-of-life care. This is a separate document from a last will and testament. A last will and testament is usually not read until after the funeral, which means that it is not the right place to leave medical directives, end-of-life care, or funeral instructions. You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online.
To make a living will in Arkansas, you can use this form.
For your living will to be valid, it must be signed by two adult witnesses (only one of whom may be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption) or notarized. The living will must be notarized if you are allowing a healthcare proxy to make plans for your funeral or cremation.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Arkansas?
If someone dies without a will, then the intestacy laws of Arkansas determine what happens to your estate. This can become a complicated, lengthy legal process. If you have any minor children, the state will appoint a guardian for them. The state will also select someone to act as the executor. Intestacy distribution laws determine how your estate is divided between surviving family members. This means that any property (real estate or money) you own will likely be held up in probate court for months at a time.
To read up on Arkansas intestacy laws, you can go here.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Arkansas?
Aside from choosing the executor of your estate, you can include the following when making a will online in Arkansas:
- Choose someone as the guardian for minor children.
- Choose someone to oversee any property left to minor children.
- Choose someone to care for remaining pets.
- Leave property or gifts to other family, friends, charities, or organizations.
- Designate who receives family heirlooms and sentimental items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Arkansas?
Remember that a last will and testament is not the right place for medical directives, end-of-life care, or funeral instructions. This is because, when someone dies, the funeral arrangements are usually made immediately. The will is typically not read until after the funeral. If funeral instructions are left in the will, family members may not know about them. The same is true, of course, for end-of-life care stipulations.
For medical directives and end-of-life care instructions, you should create a living will in Arkansas.
To leave funeral directions, you can simply make your wishes known to family members or you can make a separate document that describes your wishes. You should give the document to the executor of your estate.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Arkansas?
A will is a legally binding document, whether it is made online or not. But you can make changes or revoke your will at any time.
In Arkansas, here are the ways to change or revoke a will:
- With the purpose of revoking it, you can burn, tear, cancel, obliterate or destroy it, or by
- Writing a new will that revokes all or part of the old will by expressly stating this or by including contradictory terms.
Any time you have any major life changes (such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, adoption, acquisition of significant assets, or relocation to another state or country), it is a good idea to update your will. This usually means creating a new will. But if you want to make small changes or additions, you can create an amendment called a codicil. To validate a codicil, you must finalize it in the same way as the original. This means you must sign it with witnesses who also sign it (and you also can self-prove a codicil through a notarized affidavit).
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Arkansas?
To finalize an online will in Arkansas, take these steps:
- Print out the will,
- Sign it or acknowledge your signature in front of two witnesses,
- Have the two witnesses sign the will in your presence.
You may want to consider making your will “self-proved” by obtaining a separate, notarized affidavit with your signature and the signature of your two witnesses to attach to your will. This will make the probate process quicker.
Special Considerations in Arkansas:
- Conditional gifts in your will may not be enforced.
- Disinheriting spouses or children is a complicated matter.
If you are choosing to make any inheritance conditional or if you want to disinherit a spouse or children, you should consult an attorney.
USLegalWills is our recommendation for an online last will and testament. Their pricing is fair and the process of making an online will is easy. You can also create a Living Will. USLegalWills offers a free service to document funeral wishes and save final messages for loved ones.