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There are all kinds of decisions that need to be made when thinking about the future. For instance, during the estate planning process, Arkansas residents writing their estate plans need to be mindful of who of the named beneficiaries in the estate will be responsible for paying the estate tax. Wills and trusts have specific indications on this issue.

Those beneficiaries who have been left specific items of actual personal property are off the hook for paying estate tax. That holds true unless there are no other assets. If there is only a will in existence, those who receive property that doesn’t have to go through the probate process but are included as part of the estate’s value will have to pay a share of estate tax.

If a revocable living trust exists, any beneficiary that receives property not included in that trust will also have to pay some taxes. Any property which goes to a surviving spouse that is part of a marital trust or any retirement plans that qualify will not go toward taxes unless other assets are first used. The estate residue or property other than personal effects and specific bequests will be used for tax purposes if only a will exists.

An Arkansas attorney can address other issues that affect estate planning such as pour over wills. He or she can also explain the problems which could arise when people don’t have any estate plans in place. In such instances, state laws will come into play. If an individual dies intestate with property in a state other than Arkansas at the time of his or her death, the laws of that state could also have an impact on the estate.