Estate planning can be overwhelming, but those who wish to plan their estate are doing so because they know that leaving the task to loved ones after their passing would be even more overwhelming. Estate planning doesn’t have to be a nightmare, though, when done properly and with the assistance of an established estate planning lawyer.
Kevin Lemley Law Partners is a Cabot estate planning law firm featuring a highly qualified legal team that understands the sensitivity that must be taken when planning an estate. We understand the complexities of estate planning as well as the laws that govern it. We equip our Cabot, AR clients with the exact estate planning tools their unique needs require to create a solid plan for their loved ones.
Estate planning involves more than just wills. An experienced estate planning attorney can empower individuals to make a more informed estate plan for their assets and family.
Estate planning offers several options for the distribution of assets following one’s passing. Along with wills, an estate plan can contain instruments such as trusts, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and other documents that can help plan for the designation of assets following death. There are seven key steps in estate planning:
There are other things to consider, such as who will be the estate administrator or executor or who the trustee will be if assets will be going into a trust.
The number one way to avoid your assets having to go through probate is to put them in a living trust, which you will have control over until you pass. Then, your successor trustee will receive the assets from the trust directly, bypassing probate and avoiding your loved ones having to wait for their inheritance.
You don’t need an attorney to make a will in Arkansas. However, if you don’t have an attorney look over your will, you risk making an error that can cause trouble for your beneficiaries after your death. You don’t even need to have your will notarized. Nevertheless, having it notarized will keep the probate court from having to contact your signed witnesses for verification of your will, which can take extra time.
A handwritten will is a legal document in Arkansas, but it must be written in its entirety in the testator’s own handwriting. If anyone challenges the will, there will need to be three witnesses who can testify that the handwriting is that of the testator. A handwritten will should not have any other handwriting besides the one writing the will. It should also have no other signatures, including no witness signatures.
If you have specific wishes regarding what happens to your estate when you pass away, you need a will. Otherwise, your assets will be handled in compliance with state intestate succession. The first in line, if you have no children, is your spouse of three years or more. A spouse whom you were married to for fewer than three years will get half your assets, and your parents, if living, will get the other half. The next in line are your siblings, then your siblings’ children. If you have a spouse and children, the spouse will get one-third, and the children will get two-thirds of your assets.
If you’re engaging in the estate planning process, you obviously care about your loved ones. However, if you don’t have an attorney experienced in estate planning to review your estate planning documents, you could be missing an important detail that may hold your estate up in probate. Estate planning is a complicated legal matter that should not be entered into carelessly. Call Kevin Lemley Law Partners to discuss the estate planning options in Cabot that are the most ideal for your situation.