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What are important points to remember about wills?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Estate Planning

In Arkansas, people of all ages, financial situations, family circumstances and fundamental needs should understand the value of creating an estate plan. The most basic type of estate planning document is a will. The will can address the person’s property and detail how it is distributed after they have passed on.

However, there is nuance to the will and it is not necessarily going to stay the same even after it has been executed. There are various laws that are critical to a valid will and all should be known before and after the will has been created.

Key points about wills and how to ensure they are current

Anyone can create a will once they turn 18 and are of sound mind and body. Increasingly, people are putting off the creation of a will or other type of estate plan. There are many reasons for this type of procrastination, but it is always a good idea to have the value of a will in mind. The past several years and the challenges people have been facing personally, health-wise and financially show how critical it can be. It is especially true when a person is established, has a family and wants to make certain their loved ones are protected.

To be valid, a will must be signed by the testator and two witnesses who are at least 18 and competent. They are required to be present as witnesses. Wills can be holographic, meaning they are in the testator’s handwriting. For this to be valid, there must be three credible witnesses who derive no benefit from the contents of the will.

As people get older, their lives and needs change. So too might the contents of their will. It is possible to update the will, but the preferable strategy to make changes may be to simply revoke the existing will and write a new one.
To revoke the will, the person can create a new will that will nullify the old one due to inconsistency. They can also simply destroy it. This can be accomplished by tearing it, burning it and other methods. People may want to take this step if they have gotten divorced, had children, grandchildren, decided they want to remove or add certain people to the document and for other reasons.

For all estate planning needs, it is important to have experienced, local help

It is imperative for Arkansas clients to have someone they can trust helping them with their estate planning needs no matter what they are. In Fayetteville and the surrounding areas, there may be inherent concern as to what will happen to their property, even if they have a will.

Consulting with professionals who are attentive to people’s concerns, know the area, are prominent and can help with all aspects of an estate plan is crucial. Calling friendly, down-to-earth, honest and extensively experienced professionals can be vital to achieve the desired goals. This is true not just for a will but for other estate planning needs as they come up, whether it is a will, a trust, a guardianship, powers of attorney or probate. Seeking guidance is a wise first step.