Can I write my own will?

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Can I write my own will?

I need to write a will,but I can’t afford to go to an attorney.I’m disabled,so I don’t have a lot of money or personal possessions to give.I want to make sure that my body will be given to medical research so that it can be studied for fibromyalgia and hopefully help find a cure for my daughters,who will also have it.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can write your own will.  I'm not an Arkansas lawyer, but some quick internet research suggests that you can do this either by writing it all out by hand (this is called a "holographic will") or by having two witnesses watch you sign it, then sign it as witnesses.  However, simply putting "Last Will and Testament" or words like that on the document, and even listing your children's names, with what you want each one to have under their names, isn't necessarily enough to make it valid.

There are a number of ways to find sample language for wills, but the most reliable, of course, is a lawyer.


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