FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Estate Planning Click to Show the Answer

  • A list of final gifts and instructions. Unlike a trust, a Will must go through probate to be validated and the assets distributed. The “testator”, creator of the will, does not get to have long term control over the gifts.

    Typically, if a trust is involved, the will simply “pours” everything not in the trust into the trust

  • A deed executed now that passes your property at your death. Similar to payable on death for accounts, or transfer on death for car titles.

  • If the end is near and nobody is around to make decisions, this written document tells the doctors how you want to be treated. This document is used at times that you are no longer able to express your informed consent.

    Without a document expressing your wishes, your family may end up in painful disputes over your care. Families are torn apart by the painful proceedings.

  • Let your personal representative know your final desires. Cremation vs. Burial, wake or no wake, viewing or not, where arrangements have been made, what songs and readings you want, etc.

  • An estate planner

    • Brings surety to an otherwise unsure future by turning tomorrow’s reactions into today’s action.
    • Foretells the future. She knows what your future without a plan can be. She knows what your future with a plan will be.
    • Protects your children from themselves and the legal system.
    • Protects you from the medico-legal system.
    • Enables you to safeguard your assets.
    • Allows your decisions to be heard and followed.
    • Empowers you
  • Sam was sick, really sick and had to be checked into the hospital. His significant other, Sade, was by his side all the time. Sam started running a fever and was delirious. Sade wanted to know what was going on, but the doctor couldn’t tell her. If only Sam had signed a HIPAA waiver.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also contained language to make it harder to share mental and physical health information.

    So, to be able to share medical information with other people, you have to sign a waiver.

    Why? If you give somebody else the power to make medical decisions, they should probably be able to look at your chart and medical history so they can make better decisions.

  • With time and proper planning, assets can be protected. However, a five year lookback period exists. So if you really want to shelter excess assets, you need five years.

  • This is the person, or trust, that is to receive the remainder of your assets in things like retirement accounts, stock accounts, pensions, IRAs, and life insurance.

    You usually have to fill out some paperwork and return a signed copy to the company you have the asset with.

  • Mary called the office and needs a will done next week before her surgery.

    Jane calls from the ICU and needs a trust done now.

    Marius called and needs a probate.

    Isabell, an attorney in Mississippi needs an answer to a probate problem in Arkansas.

    Jim just needs to come in and talk about a business venture because you have been friends for a long time, he trusts your opinion.

    And, the attorney needs time to do all of the paper work, run a business, answer phone calls, and return e-mails. Somewhere in there, the attorney would like to see family. Frequently the attorney does not charge for returning the calls and answering e-mails, but it does take time.

    The attorney needs time to carefully think out the plan. Just as you would not a surgeon to rush through your procedure, you should not expect an attorney to rush through your plan.

    A person should allow at least 4 weeks for a well thought out plan. After the interview, give the planner two weeks to come up with a plan and send you a summary. After that, allow another week to draft the documents, proof read, etc. Then you will have an appointment for a signing ceremony. Then allow a week for the office to get the papers sorted and put in a notebook.

    However, the more complex the plan, the longer it will take.

    And, if the attorney is in demand, it may take 4 to 6 weeks just to get an appointment.

  • Let the people you have picked to represent you know.

    Store the documents and let the people you have picked to represent you know where they are and how to get to them.

    Move your assets into the trust or create proper beneficiary designations.

  • Sarah and John Smith did a great job of organizing their life and getting an excellent estate plan in place. They put the originals in a safety deposit box. But, they forgot to give access to their appointed personal representative. They also did not share where the key was. The personal representative could not get into the box to get the original will and trust so that the estate could be distributed. Nor could she get the original will to get the judge to order the box opened.

    In a safe place. But what is a safe place?

    First, it is somewhere your agents named in your power of attorney, trust, and will can find them. Your representative should know where the documents are and have access.

    If they are kept in a safety deposit box, your representatives should have access and a key to the box.

    If they are kept in your home, then make sure your representative knows where they are and how to get to them. If in your home, preferably in a fire proof box.

Estate Planning & Creditors Click to See Answer

  • If you think your children don’t have creditors, think again. Do they have credit cards, a mortgage, or anybody else they owe money to? If so, they have creditors.

    If they default on the credit (loan), then the creditors will try to come after any money they have. That includes inherited money and current money.

    To protect them against creditors, the money and home can stay in a trust that has “spend thrift” provisions to keep the creditors from attaching to the principal in the trust.

    Also, this is a good time to mention not putting your children on your bank accounts. The reason is the same, their creditors can reach through and get your money. Financial predators can reach through and get your money.

  • Don’t put your children on your accounts.

    If a child defaults on credit, the creditor can look to the account you put your children on. A durable power of attorney is a much better way to give them check writing authority. Co-trustee on your trust is another way.

    If a financial predator gets your children’s financial information, they could reach through into your account and drain your money out too.

Children Click to See Answer

  • Absolutely. Don’t let your estate become public knowledge. Use trust based and other private planning to keep the financial information out of the public record.

    Companies are out there who do nothing but search for people inheriting large sums of money. They do this by looking through the public probate records.

  • Leo’s parents passed after a car accident when he was 18 years old. Leo really did not have a lot of life experience managing money. However, his parents had a $1,000,000 life insurance policy that he was the beneficiary of. Leo took a lot of trips (first class of course), bought gifts for his friends, bought a sports car, etc. At the end of two years Leo had a used sports car, no education, and the start of a large debt load.

    If you think that sounds out of the ordinary, the average for a lawsuit settlement is 2.5 years until spent. This is regardless of the size of the settlement. Why should an inheritance be any different?

    The answer is to put the money into a trust that guides how the money is to be spent until a person matures and has more experience in managing money. One of the author’s favorites is to pay children an allowance and for education until they reach a more mature age.

  • Finish a complete estate plan.

    By making a plan, you will be protecting your children from not only the system, but from themselves. Young people who come into money tend to spend it very quickly.

    If something were to happen to both parents, and proper planning has not been done, their future is 100% up to a judge in court. They could end up with an undesirable relative, or worse, be placed in the foster care system if nobody steps up.

    Without proper guardian nominations, you children could still end up in the foster care system temporarily.

  • Consider your values and philosophies. It is important to pick a guardian that shares your beliefs.

    You need to look at the practical side of it too. Will they be young enough to keep up with your children? Do they live close enough to be there within 30 minutes?

Why Are The Documents So Long? Click to See Answer

  • Jody sues Jerry over a few words in a will because Jody thinks she should get all of the property. The judge makes his ruling. Jody does indeed get it all in spite of the desire of the testator to split it evenly. Now, every trust and will has to have language added to cover this case.

    Blame our lawsuit happy society. Every time a lawsuit is decided, language needs to be added to the documents to answer the questions that came up in the lawsuit.

    It is also much better to define terms in the documents and spell out powers and responsibilities as much as possible. That way, the documents are not so specific to a particular state.

  • Personal circumstances and/or the law could change so that a presently irrelevant provision may become relevant and/or applicable in the future.

    Starting with a longer robust document and possibly tailoring the document to meet the personal cosmetic preferences of the client enables a higher quality document.

    It is better to start with as complete a document as possible and then consider eliminating provisions that might be clearly unnecessary.

    Personal circumstances and/or the law could change so that a presently irrelevant provision may become relevant and/or applicable in the future.

    A provision in one section of the trust that may appear irrelevant or unnecessary may have been purposefully included in the document for purposes of other sections.

Trusts Click to See Answer

  • First is the settlor or grantor. That is the person who is giving stuff to the trust.

    Second is the trustee. This is the person who manages the stuff for the benefit of the beneficiary. The trustee is a fiduciary (trusted person bound by certain laws).

    Third is the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person for whose benefit the trustee works.

  • A trust has several “people” involved. First is the person who creates and funds the trust, the settlor. Second is the person who owns legal title to the goods, the trustee. Third, for tax purposes is the trust itself. Finally, a trust has people who the stuff in trust is to be used for, the beneficiaries.

    Now that we have the “actors” defined, we can define a trust.

    A trust is when the settlor gives legal title to the trustee to manage the goods for the benefit of the beneficiaries. If those goods happen to consist of investment accounts, then the trust must file a tax return.

    Another way is to think of a trust is an agreement between three people. First is the grantor, the person putting stuff into a trust. The second person is the trustee who manages the property in the trust. And finally the beneficiary of the trust, the person who benefits from the goods in the trust (now or in the future). In the case of most revocable living trusts (RLT), the grantor, trustee, and beneficiary are the same physical person, but that person must play each of the roles.

    Also, think of a revocable living trust like a corporation that you own. You put stuff into the corporation, you manage the stuff, and you benefit from the stuff, but the corporation actually owns the stuff.

    Look at it by the steps:

    1. The settlor gives legal title to the trustee. The trustee then legally owns the goods.
    2. The trustee then manages the goods for the people named in the trust to get the benefit of the goods.
    3. When the settlor is gone, the trustee then follows the instructions in the trust to distribute the goods to the final beneficiaries.
  • The settlor or grantor is the person who puts their stuff (assets) into a trust.

  • The trustee is the person who manages the stuff in the trust for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary).

  • The beneficiary is the person who benefits from the trust. The trustee manages the stuff in the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.

  • First of all, it is a trust, with a twist. You may want to look at the previous answer first to get all of the players straight.

    You are the settlor.

    You are the trustee.

    You are the lifetime beneficiary.

    Whoever you name is the final beneficiary.

    In other words, you put the goods in, then own them as the trustee, for the benefit (usually) for yourself, then name a final beneficiary.

    Why go to all of this trouble?

    • Avoid probate.
    • Keep long term control of assets.
    • Leave detailed instructions for the final beneficiaries.
    • Create special instructions in case of special needs children or children with drug or alcohol problems.
    • Make it a “third party” trust for children with special needs, then after they don’t need public benefits any more, distribute the money as you wish without a Medicaid payback.

    The word “revocable” means that you may make changes and even do away with the trust. You reserve those rights as the settlor and trustee during your lifetime. However, once all of the settlors pass, the trust becomes irrevocable usually.

  • A living trust really goes to work in two instances. Other than that, it is a pretty passive device.

    The first is when you are not able to make your own decisions. The trust already has instructions for the successor trustee to follow.

    The second is after your passing. The trust already has instructions for the successor trustee to follow.

  • It is a trust that cannot be changed without court permission. Once things go in, they typically stay in the trust.

  • The most common purposes of an irrevocable trust is to reduce taxes and protect property.

  • Everyone who has assets that they want to keep out of probate, make available immediately, and have control of in case of incapacity.

  • Amend the trust

    Locate and read the original trust. If there is more than one trustee, then you must both agree to the changes. Decide which articles you want to change or amend. Draft the changes. Title the document as an amendment to the XYZ trust. Name the parties and the date of the amendment. Identify the article of the original trust that allows amendments and note it in the amendment. Describe the modifications in detail. Create a signature block. Create a notary block.

    Revoke the trust

              Transfer all property back to you. All trustees must agree to the revocation. Write up a document that revokes the document. Make sure it has a signature block and notary block. Sign in front of a notary.

    Restate the trust

    Make a very clear reference to the original trust and that this is a restatement of the trust. You must have the authority and ability to amend the trust. Title the restatement appropriately as something like “The Amended and Restated XYZ Trust”

  • No. But, would you fix your own cavities or perform surgery on yourself? No, you would hire a professional.

  • This is a confusing question to be asked. A trust account is an account titled in the name of the trust.

  • A special needs trust is a trust designed for beneficiaries who are disabled, either physically or mentally.    It is written so the beneficiary can enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit, while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based government benefits. In addition to the public benefits preservation reasons for such a trust there will be administrative advantages of using a trust to hold and manage property intended for the benefit of the beneficiary if the beneficiary lacks the legal capacity to handle his or her own financial affairs.

  • The will shall simply “pour over” anything that was not put into the trust, into the trust.

    For example, you sell a home, and buy a new home. But you forget and don’t title the new home in the name of the trust. However, the will shall catch the home and put it in the trust.

    It still has to go through probate, but it should be a short and simple process.

    In a trust based estate plan, the role of the Will is to act as a “catch all” for anything not titled into the trust. If everything is in the trust, the Will would not have a purpose or roll in an estate plan.

  • Yes. A revocable trust may be amended, restated, or revoked.

  • First of all, it is a trust, with a twist. You may want to look at the previous answer first to get all of the players straight.

    You are the settlor.

    You are the trustee.

    You are the lifetime beneficiary.

    Whoever you name is the final beneficiary.

    In other words, you put the goods in, then own them as the trustee, for the benefit (usually) for yourself, then name a final beneficiary.

    Why go to all of this trouble?

    • Avoid probate.
    • Keep long term control of assets.
    • Leave detailed instructions for the final beneficiaries.
    • Create special instructions in case of special needs children or children with drug or alcohol problems.
    • Make it a “third party” trust for children with special needs, then after they don’t need public benefits any more, distribute the money as you wish without a Medicaid payback.

    The word “revocable” means that you may make changes and even do away with the trust. You reserve those rights as the settlor and trustee during your lifetime. However, once all of the settlors pass, the trust becomes irrevocable usually.

Wills Click to See Answer

  • The role of a Will in an estate plan is to provide a framework and guidance to the person who will execute the will. It is a list of final gifts to others.

    In a trust based estate plan, the role of the Will is to act as a “catch all” for anything not titled into the trust. If everything is in the trust, the Will would not have a purpose or roll in an estate plan.

  • These are the basic things you should include in your will.

    A paragraph declaring this to be your Last Will and Testament. Some words to say this Will revokes all prior wills.

    Your name. Your spouse’s or significant other’s name and relationship even if estranged. Your children’s names (even if disinheriting) and dates of birth. Specifically disown any children you want to disown. A list of the people who will get your stuff and how much they get. If you forgot anything in the specific gift list, a catch all to distribute the rest.

    In case of a family emergency, in which you have no descendants, to whom the remainder will be left. Often this is a charity.

  • You make a will in one of two ways.

    The first is to write it out by hand. This is known as a holographic will and are valid in Arkansas as of 2016. The entire will has to be in the handwriting of the person and 3 credible witnesses to the handwriting.

    The second way is to execute a formal will with witnesses and an affidavit. You can either type everything up yourself, buy a form will, or have an attorney draw up the will.

  • You should not just do a will yourself. There are legal things you may not know or think about. For example, restricting the right to marry is a Constitutional issue. You can use an online program to help you generate a will. But, I have seen the results and that people forget to sign ALL of it. Also, many of the stand alone and online programs cannot give legal advice. You are at the whim of what questions they ask.

  • The will shall simply “pour over” anything that was not put into the trust, into the trust.

    For example, you sell a home, and buy a new home. But you forget and don’t title the new home in the name of the trust. However, the will shall catch the home and put it in the trust.

    It still has to go through probate, but it should be a short and simple process.

    In a trust based estate plan, the role of the Will is to act as a “catch all” for anything not titled into the trust. If everything is in the trust, the Will would not have a purpose or roll in an estate plan.

  • Oh boy. It takes an example to show you how the reciprocal (“I Love You”) Will can affect Medicaid.

    First, we need a married couple. Their names are Husband Harry(H) and Wife Winnifred(W).

    Second, we need Wills. H’s Will gives everything to W. W’s Will gives everything to H.

    Third, W needs Medicaid. H&W move assets around as allowed, and get W qualified and on Medicaid. H owns a good deal of the couple’s assets now.

    On the way for his daily visit to see W, H gets hit by a bus (meteor, lighting, etc.) and dies.

    H’s Will gives everything back to W. Now W has assets in excess of what W is allowed to have. W just became disqualified for Medicaid until W spends down to her $2,000 (as of 2016) asset limit. 

Living Wills Click to See Answer

Power of Attorney Click to See Answer

  • Simple question, complex answer.

    Mike is buying a house, but is a travelling salesman. He cannot make it to the closing, so signs a paper allowing his brother to sign at closing on his behalf. That is a sample of a power of attorney. In this case it is specific and temporary.

    A power of attorney (POA) is giving somebody else the authority to make legal and financial decisions for you, preferably in writing, witnessed, and notarized.

    Everybody over the age of 18 should have a trusted backup person who can make decisions.

    A POA can be durable or temporary. A POA can be for a specific purpose, as in Mike’s situation, or general in nature. A POA can be completely custom written, or based on the forms in the state statutes.

    In estate planning, the preference is for a Durable Power of Attorney. Durable means that it will not stop working if you become mentally incapacitated, that is unable to make your own decisions.

    The preference is also for the POA to become effective immediately.

  • Durable means that the power of attorney will not stop working if you become mentally incapacitated, that is unable to make your own decisions. If it is not durable, then the power of attorney may cease in times you are incapacitated.

  • You should have a Durable Power of Attorney to make sure that you have a trusted person in place to manage financial business in case of incapacity.

    If you don’t have a Durable Power of Attorney in place, your family may have to seek a guardianship. This is a costly and emotionally draining court process.

Should Ask Questions Click to See Answer

  • Estate planning is an investment in you and your family. Estate planning is not about you, it is about them.  Planning is an investment in love designed to protect your spouse, children, and other loved ones.

    Estate planning is a financial investment. Where else can you invest a dollar and get back $2, $3, or more? A plan on $300,000 estate (not uncommon) is $2,500. Probate and other expenses on that estate are about $18,000. You put in a $1 and your family pulled out $7.20. That is a 720% return on investment.

    You protect family members who depend on you. If something happened to you, could your family continue to live in the same home? Would they have enough to pay for food? You help maintain their lifestyle.

    Plan for the unexpected. You prepare for unexpected illness or injury. If you were to become very sick, keep your family on solid footing. Cover bills and other financial responsibilities.

    What if you were just to become out of it for just a little bit?

    Without a plan:

    David got the flu. No big deal, right? It developed into pneumonia with a high fever.

    While he had a fever, David was incapable of making his own medical decisions.

    Unfortunately, David had not done any estate planning.

    His wife and fiends were not allowed to make any medical decisions. It was up to the doctor. They also were not allowed to get any information on his condition.

    Fortunately, David recovered without complications. BUT, if things had turned to the worse, his wishes would not have been followed because they were not in writing and legally binding.

     

    Jane was advanced in years and needed to go into long term care. But before Jane was admitted, she had to either have a power of attorney or a guardianship. Unfortunately, Jane had not taken the time to execute a power of attorney.

    Jane’s family had to go to court and obtain a guardianship in order to get her the care she needed. This was an expensive and emotionally draining process that was completely unnecessary if Jane had planned.

    With a Plan:

    Dane got the flu. No big deal, right? It developed into pneumonia with a high fever.

    While he had a fever, Dane was incapable of making his own medical decisions.

    But, Dane had put all of his wishes in a legally binding writing ahead of time.

    His wife and family had access to his medical records and were allowed to work with the doctors to formulate his medical and recovery plan.

    Jane was advanced in years and needed to go into long term care. But before Jane was admitted, she had to either have a power of attorney or a guardianship. Fortunately, Jane had taken the time to execute a power of attorney.

    Jane’s family was able to get Jane the care she needed without any further action.

  • In the best case, everything is owned jointly with your spouse, and there is not probate and all assets transfer to you immediately.

    In the worst case, your spouse or significant other owns major assets in their name only or neglected to create beneficiary designations. A form of probate has to occur before a bank or other financial institution will release the funds.

    In this case, you will have to wait until a judge signs off on the distribution to get the money you may so desperately need immediately.

  • Would you have a general surgeon remove a brain tumor?

    Would you let your family practice doctor operate?

    Why let a general practice attorney grab a form out of the form book, fill in the blanks, and call it good? Does that attorney write estate plans every day?

    Estate planning is a specialized practice. State law stays fairly static, but the federal laws and regulations change quite often and affect estate planning.

  • Estate taxes used to be a worry for more than a few people. However, in 2016, the exclusion for a single person is $5,450,000 (5.45 Million dollars). For a couple, up to twice that, $10,900,000 could be shielded. If you have more equity that that, a tax planner definitely needs to be involved.

  • Every time you have a major life change like birth of a child, marriage, adoption, death in the family, inheritance, large gift, win the lottery, or divorce to name a few.

    Every time a major milestone is reached like a child turning 12 or 18.

    Every five years at a minimum.

  • This is not just a question of trust. Rather, it is a question of playing the odds. How much of a gambler are you?

    If you are absolutely sure that they will never have debt or be sued, then sure go ahead. If you are sure they will never be in an auto accident and liable, then go ahead. But remember, you are playing the odds.

    The reality is that your money will become your money and their money. And their money is available to their creditors and lawsuits.

  • Yes.

    If you were to become incapacitated somebody will be able to manage the practical day to day tasks for you, like paying the bills, depositing checks, etc. They will also be able to work with your insurance company.       

    If you do not have a durable power of attorney, your family may be forced to go to the courts to get a guardianship. Even after that, they may have to ask the court for permission to do certain things.

  • This is maybe the hardest question for any parent to answer.

    If you have not picked somebody and formally nominated them, then the court makes the entire decision without your input.

    However, the court still has the final say in the matter. They will take your decision into account.

    The person you pick should match as closely as possible your values, morals, religious views, political views, parenting strategies, and the affection between your child and the person.

  • Arkansas Code Annotated Section 28-9-209(c) states “Any child conceived following artificial insemination of a married woman with the consent of her husband shall be treated as their child for all purposes of intestate succession. Consent of the husband is presumed unless the contrary is shown by clear and convincing evidence”

    Not to mention the issue that could be created by “class gifts” and the “Rule against Perpetuities”

  • If you make a mistake, many of them cannot warn you. In most jurisdictions, giving legal advice without a license is illegal.

    The test of the Last Will and Testament will come after you are gone. Did you think of everything?

    For example, there was a lady who did an online will. She had it properly witnessed and signed. But, and this is a big one, she did not fill out the affidavit. If anything had been challenged, the witnesses would need to be found and brought to court to validate their signatures.

    It is easy to make mistakes. An attorney spends many years learning the basic law and many years learning estate planning.

    Laws change and unless you work in the field you will not know.

  • If you do not have a list of them, then how can they be closed?

    But, you just do not want to write down a list of names and passwords.

    However, many online services like Lastpass (lastpass.com) manage passwords and other sensitive information in a secure manner. All you need to do is make sure somebody knows the password to your computer and the password to the password management system.

Probate General Question Click to See Answer

    • Tradition
    • Orderly passing of real estate
    • To have a neutral third party resolve conflicts

    To make an orderly passing of your stuff (estate). To settle any conflicts. To divide up the estate in accordance to the law if there was no will. To keep the “chain of title” to real estate proper.

    Banks and companies will very often not release money from accounts without the probate process if beneficiaries were not named.

    If real estate is involved, probate helps to keep the ownership record of the land proper.

  • A probate lawyer walks you through the process and advocates for your rights in the process.

  • The meaning of probate, or the probate definition, is to admit the will to the courts, the court approves the will, proper advertisements are ran, creditors are paid off, all the stuff is gathered up into the “probate estate”, the stuff is distributed to the heirs, then the probate is closed

  • It is required just about any time somebody passes and leaves anything behind that did not pass through a trust, beneficiary deed, or payable on death transfer. Especially if the person passed owning any real estate. Or you just need access to their accounts and apartment.

  • You probate if there is a will because that is what is required by law. The Will is the document that leads to probate.

Probate Property Click to See Answer

  • Property only in the name of the person who passed is typically distributed according to their Will. An example is a bank account that has only their name on it or a stock account that is only in their name. This usually excludes property that is owned jointly and has a right of survivorship with someone else.

    Probate also generally doesn’t include insurance and retirement benefits where a beneficiary is named.

  • This property, and more, goes through probate: anything that was not jointly titled with right of survivorship, real estate not titled in both names with right of survivorship, bank accounts not jointly held and without a payable on death beneficiary, life insurance without a beneficiary, retirement accounts without a beneficiary, cars, boats, clothes, and jewelry.

  • The probate estate is this property, and more: anything that was not jointly titled with right of survivorship, real estate not titled in both names with right of survivorship, bank accounts not jointly held and without a payable on death beneficiary, life insurance without a beneficiary, retirement accounts without a beneficiary, cars, boats, clothes, and jewelry.

  • If there is not beneficiary on it, then it becomes part of the estate and must go through probate.

  • If retirement accounts do not have a beneficiary listed, then it becomes part of the estate and must go through probate.

Probate - How To Click to See Answer

  • This is probably the only time I will say this outright, get a probate attorney. It is more complex than you might read on the internet.

  • Yes, but do you really want to learn everything about probate?

  • The duties of executor of a will may vary greatly depending on the will and the complexity of the will. The basic duties of executor of will are to gather up and take possession of all the property, money, and personal stuff of the person, account for it, and distribute it to the heirs. Furthermore, the executor of an estate may have to open a checking account and pay off all the creditors of the estate. For this work, the executor gets a fee. The executor of estate fees will vary, but are set by default in the statutes of Arkansas. Finally, the executor of the will may have to post a bond in order to serve, especially if the estate is worth a lot of money. As you can see the executor of will duties are varied and very important to the process.

  • Probate creates a public record so some items are available for the public to read.

    Arkansas recognizes rights known as dower and curtesy.

    Likewise a spouse can elect to receive property even if the Will does not give it to them.

  • If there is any property in the probate estate, then use the Will to open probate.

Avoiding Probate Click to See Answer

After Death Click to See Answer

Elder Law Click to See Answer

  • No, if you anticipate needing Medicaid at any point in the foreseeable future, it’s prudent to seek the advice of a qualified elder law attorney. There are steps you can take to protect your assets which may not be available when you actually need Medicaid. Some of those steps may include transferring your assets or establishing trusts. An elder law attorney with expertise in Medicaid planning can evaluate your situation and advise you on the most prudent steps to take in order to preserve your rights and maximize benefits.

  • A guardianship is a crucial legal tool that allows one person or entity to make decisions for another (the ward). Courts are tasked with establishing guardianships, and they typically appoint guardians in instances of incapacity or disability.