Many people put creating their estate plan on the back burner as something they will eventually get around to do. Others believe they are all set because they have a will, but have not reviewed it in years.
For most estates, a trust is a recommended tool to assist in transferring your legacy to your heirs. However, in certain cases, a stand-alone will is adequate to avoid probate and make the process easy for your loved ones.
At Rippy, Stepps & Associates, our estate planning attorney will work one-on-one with you to create a tailored estate plan or review what you currently have for accuracy. Without a will, your estate is considered an intestate estate, and Arkansas law then dictates how your assets are dispersed. In these cases, the probate process often becomes more costly, lengthy and burdensome for the estate administrator, who is often selected by the court.
It is also essential to review your will and estate plan often. A good rule of thumb is to set up a review every five years to ensure accuracy. In addition, it is recommended that you review your will and estate plan after certain life events occur such as divorce, death in the family or move to Arkansas.
Limit Disputes Among Loved Ones
A will can decrease the possibility of conflict and may be simple or detailed. Often a will can be used to create a testamentary trust. If there are minor children, a will should specify the parents’ selection of a guardian if one is needed. While the guardianship designation is not binding, a judge will likely take the parents’ wishes into careful consideration if the need arises.
Through separate documentation or as part of your will, you can facilitate a smooth transition of assets through creation of a trust, such as a:
Special needs trust
A discussion about your asset portfolio, your priorities in estate planning and the testamentary documents needed to complete your legal legacy is important. Meet with our attorneys for information and guidance regarding trusts, your will or any estate planning issue.
When To Talk To A Lawyer About Your Estate Plan: Sooner Rather Than Later
Rippy, Stepps & Associates welcomes the opportunity to assist all Arkansas residents with any aspect of estate planning. Call 501-428-913 or email us to schedule a consultation at your convenience.