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Arkansas Estate Planning
Surveys show that the majority of adults in Arkansas lack even the most basic estate planning documents, such as a last will and testament or power of attorney. Many people mistakenly feel they don't need to think about estate planning unless they're old or rich or own property. But that's a false assumption: Every adult should spend time thinking about their financial future and talking to an estate planning attorney.
Four Things to Know About Estate Planning
Done properly, estate planning allows you to control what happens to your family and your property after you die. It can also help you preserve your assets as you grow older.
Here are four important things to understand about estate planning:
- Every adult needs a will. If you have any assets at all, then a last will and testament allows you to determine how your property will be distributed. People who die without a will are known as having died intestate. When this occurs, your property will be distributed according to Arkansas intestacy laws. The court has no latitude in changing the property distribution, even if someone else was verbally promised specific pieces of your estate or if another family member has a greater need for it.
- A last will and testament also enables you to name a legal guardian for your minor children. If you have minor children (under the age of 18, in Arkansas), you can use your last will and testament to designate a legal guardian for your children if you and your children's other parent die before the children turn 18.
- Estate planning deals with more than just death. There are a number of estate planning documents that come in handy long before you pass away. A power of attorney, for example, allows you to give someone else permission to access your financial accounts and sign legal documents on your behalf. A healthcare power of attorney allows you to designate someone to make medical decisions if you're incapacitated.
- Estate planning doesn't have to be complicated. If your needs are relatively simple, you'll be able to finalize most of your estate planning documents within a couple of meetings or after spending a few hours with an estate planning lawyer. Once the documents are drafted and signed, you should periodically touch base with your attorney to update documents as necessary.
Find & Hire Local Arkansas Estate Planning Attorneys
Whether you live in Little Rock or Fayetteville, Fort Smith or Springdale, or elsewhere in Arkansas, Attorneys.com offers a free service that can quickly match you with estate planning lawyers in your area. Call us today at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page. After you answer a few simple questions, we'll put you in touch with a local lawyer.