In West Memphis, Arkansas, many of the dilemmas that sometimes come with a will, such as would-be beneficiaries challenging its validity, or devises which don't make it clear who gets what (resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation) can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.

The procedure of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up a intricate trust arrangement.

But even if the will is comparatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An efficient lawyer in West Memphis, Arkansas who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.

Many problems with wills can be caused by failing to follow the proper formalities. These requirements are not very intricate, but they need to be followed scrupulously. If not, the will might be found to be invalid. In almost every state, the will must be witnessed and signed by two disinterested parties, and must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a last will and testament.

Holographic Wills in West Memphis, Arkansas

In some states, testators are permitted to make "holographic wills." This is a will which the testator hand-writes, in his or her own handwriting. Such wills do not need to have any witnesses to be given effect.

Holographic wills, assuming they're recognized, are interpreted very broadly. This gives them the best possible chance of truly being implemented, since they will rarely be invalidated on technicalities.

You should, however, know that not all states permit holographic wills. In such states, you can still hand write your will if you want, but all the formalities, such as witnesses, must be present.

If your state recognizes them, a holographic will might be a good option if you have a very small estate, and wish to make very simple devises. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to at least have an attorney review your will for completeness and clarity, even if you aren't having the attorney draft it from scratch.

How Can A West Memphis, Arkansas Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities that must accompany most wills, it might be advisable to have a West Memphis, Arkansas attorney help you draft it.