Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wills: What you need to know

Wills, also known as Last Wills and Testaments, have been used for centuries to instruct how property will be distributed after death.  Wills are formal legal documents that are subject to specific requirements in order to be valid.

One of the most important things to know about Wills is that it is absolutely necessary to fulfill all of the requirements for validity set out by law.  The requirements have not changed in centuries and may seem a little outdated, but they are necessary nonetheless.  Wills cannot be electronic.  There is no app to create a valid Will.  It must be on paper.  Most of the time, they also must be signed by the person making the Will and witnessed by a number of individuals. These requirements vary by state and the circumstances under which the will was made can also have an effect.  What you need to know is that no matter what the requirements are in your specific situation, they must be complied with or your will won’t be valid.

Another important thing to know is that Wills may be updated automatically.  If you don’t bother to update your Will after you get married, divorced, or have another child, state law may update it for you.  Wills also have purposes other than to instruct how to distribute your property after you die.   For example, young parents use Wills to appoint a guardian for the care of their minor children. Others include burial instructions in their Wills.  

Finally, Wills are no longer the final say in estate planning matters.  These days, most people want to avoid probate (the court process for validating a Will).  This can be done by using a variety of techniques.  For example, it is possible to name beneficiaries on most financial accounts.  Your Will does not effect on how these assets will be distributed.  In the present day, Wills might only be used as a precautionary measure to cover assets not distributed by other means.

Whether you would like to discuss creating an estate plan or have specific questions about an estate planning matter, contact the attorneys at Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC, at (501) 376-8222, for a consultation today. 

Archived Posts


© 2022 Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC | Disclaimer
About | Attorneys | Client Forms | Resources | Practice Areas | News


Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative

901 N. University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72207 | Phone: 501.482.1787 | 557 Locust Avenue, Conway, AR 72034 | Phone: 501.482.1787
3880 N. Highway 7, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 | Phone: 501.482.1787 | 721 S Main Street Stuttgart, AR 72160 | Phone: 870.673.0083