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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My dad just recently passed away. I obtained a will from US

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My dad just recently passed away. I obtained a will from US Legal in March and he changed his will, had it notarized and recorded at the courthouse. The will that his wife of 4 years has in her possession was signed by him and notarized but never recorded at the county courthouse. She says she wants to go by the will she has, but I don't think its legal. He was in the process of divorcing her before he died.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

The most recent will, so long as it meets the requirement for a will under Arkansas law, is the valid will. Generally a subsequent will first states that it revokes all prior wills, this would revoke the will that the wife has.

He cannot fully disinherit his spouse. If his most recent will leaves his spouse less than 1/3 of his estate then she can make a claim for at least 1/3 of his estate.

As for his house, the deed would not pass under the will but was fully owned by the spouse at the time of the quit claim deed. Since the mortgage was in his name alone it is a debt that must be paid by the estate. If the estate does not have sufficient assets to pay the mortgage then the spouse must take over the mortgage to keep the mortgage company from foreclosing on the house.

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