Describing your last wishes in a will is a major step to making sure your desires for your estate will be honored after you pass away. That is why a will should be drafted with close attention to Arkansas law, as a will that is not correctly drafted could be invalidated by a court. State law describes a number of requirements for a will to be valid and enforceable.
As explained by FindLaw, Arkansas is like just about every state in the country in requiring a testator to be at least 18 years of age. A minor is not qualified to write his or her own will. Also, a person needs to be of sound mind to create a will. A person suffering from serious mental impairments is unlikely to be qualified under Arkansas law to draft a will.
Witnesses are a vital part of will validation. A testator should have two or more witnesses present while signing the will. The testator should also declare that the will is his or her own will in the presence of the witnesses. At least two witnesses should sign the will as well. Also, witnesses should be disinterested parties, meaning they should not stand to gain from the estate of the testator.
The form of the will is also important. Arkansas does not recognize an oral will, meaning you cannot speak your estate wishes and expect them to be valid by law. However, Arkansas does recognize handwritten wills. Also known as a holographic will, a handwritten will must be written completely by a testator in the presence of three disinterested witnesses, which means you will need to have three people on hand who cannot benefit from your estate.
Reviewing your will carefully for legal problems can help ensure that a probate judge will find no problem with it and allow its provisions to be enforced. Since the estate wishes of Arkansans differ from person to person, the information presented in this article is only for education and not legal advice.