Arkansas Estate Planning is Vital for Protecting
Your Loved Ones and Your Property.
Estate planning should be an essential part of every person’s financial planning. An estate plan provides protection both during your life and after you have passed away, making sure your money, home, and other assets carry on to the right individuals. These are some of the many questions people ask themselves when trying to protect their hard-earned assets.
What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
Some common questions arise when thinking about estate planning, like what legal documents do I need? Do I need a will or a trust? Both wills and trusts are essential documents to consider, but it is essential to understand the difference depending on your goals.
Wills and trusts have specific yet differentiating benefits for estate planning. Each state has various laws and regulations governing these types of legal documents. In Arkansas, you can have both a will and a trust; however, the information in each should complement the other.
The most significant difference between a will and a trust is probate court. A will must go through Arkansas probate court, while a trust avoids probate court.
What is a Last Will and Testament in Arkansas?
A will allows you to appoint an executor for your Arkansas estate legally, name guardians for your children and pets, designate asset distribution, and specify final wishes and arrangements. A will goes into effect upon your death in Arkansas.
This legal document has some limitations regarding the distribution of assets, and wills are also subject to a probate process in Arkansas. Probate can be very time-consuming, expensive, and part of the public records.
What is a Trust in Arkansas?
Trusts are somewhat more sophisticated than wills, and the many different trust types can significantly benefit your estate and beneficiaries. A trust does not go through probate to fund your trust, you must legally transfer assets into it, making the trust the owner of those assets.
Trusts are beneficial for parents of minor-aged children, business owners, people concerned with the cost of long-term care, loved ones with special needs, properties in more than one state, or anyone who wants to make the estate administration as smooth as possible.
Generally, your trust provides for the distribution and management of your assets during your lifetime and after death. Arkansas trusts can apply to any asset you hold inside the trust and offer more control over when and how you administer your assets. There are many different trust forms and types, far more than a will.
Should I have a Medical Power of Attorney in Arkansas?
Your estate plan allows you to give specific instructions regarding your medical care, your property, and who will have the authority to make decisions on your behalf. Estate planning can also protect your assets from creditors and taxes and even protect minor children and young beneficiaries.
A skilled estate planning attorney provides the best protection for life’s uncertainties, as well as guidance through any probate process that is needed.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for Estate Planning Documents?
Many people are turning to discount websites or fill-in-the-blank forms to obtain estate planning documents. These products may seem fast and easy, but a small error or oversight (or reliance on a legal myth) can cost loved ones a great deal of confusion, heartache, and money. Such a mistake may also cause a document to be void and unenforceable. Your estate planning documents are like insurance for your wishes and your legacy. You wouldn’t leave your health care wishes or your asset protection up to chance.
Be aware of changes in the law or your life that can affect the effect of a will or other estate planning documents. If you already have an estate plan, we recommended reviewing your documents at least once every four years.
Start Your Estate Plan with an Experienced Arkansas Estate Planning Lawyer
An experienced Arkansas estate planning attorney can navigate the legal traps and hazards and provide a document that does precisely what you want. When you hire an Arkansas estate planning lawyer, you pay for extensive knowledge and understanding of the law. Our Heber Springs attorneys know what questions to ask to determine what you truly want and will often uncover issues clients never considered.
Our Cleburne County law office is here to help you and your loved ones understand estate planning in Arkansas. We welcome you to contact us to learn more about how we can help meet your estate planning needs.