Estate Planning

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Life Insurance Trust

Trusts are an often overlooked estate planning tool as the main focus goes to wills. Trusts, however, have benefits that do not come with only having a will as part of your estate plan.
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Monday, September 9, 2019

The Benefits of a Living Trust

To set up a trust, you, the trust settlor, transfer ownership of assets to the trust. The trust holds legal title to the property and is managed by a trustee for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. There are several types of trusts and each has variations that make them unique. For instance, you may wish to establish a living trust. 

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why You Are Never Too Young to Estate Plan

Estate Planning at Any Age

Estate planning is not just for the old or infirm. It is for everyone. If you are young and in good health or have not yet built up your assets, you may think that you have no reason to estate plan. This is a mistake in thinking. Everyone has a reason to estate plan because no one is immune for the unexpected twists and turns that life can take.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Does Arkansas have an Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax

With regards to estates, there are several different types of taxes that you should be aware of. An estate tax is one that is levied on the estate of an individual who recently passed away. The tax is applied prior to the estate assets being distributed to the heirs. Arkansas, along with 37 other states, does not have a state estate tax, but there is a federal estate tax that may apply if the value of an estate reaches a certain threshold.

There is also the gift tax to consider.
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

How Do You Create a Valid Will in Arkansas?

Establishing a Will

A will is a legal document that establishes how you want your property distributed after you pass away. It also designates a personal representative who is tasked with managing your estate. A will is the most commonly utilized estate planning tool. It allows you to lay out your wishes in a clear and, when properly executed, legally binding way. The person establishing the will is referred to as the “testator.
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Monday, June 24, 2019

Prenuptial Agreements: Hoping for the Best While Preparing for the Worst

The act of marriage often conjures up the feelings of love, commitment, and a joining of two hearts. But what many fail to also recognize is that marriage is also a joining of two sets of assets. One of the most significant financial decisions that you can ever make is the act of getting married. That’s why it is so important that you protect yourself, your family, and your assets in case your love story doesn’t work out. 

Protecting Your Assets

A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a contract that protects your assets from the moment that you get married.
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Friday, June 21, 2019

What to Know When Designating Beneficiaries

The act of designating beneficiaries to receive your assets upon your death is a smart way to avoid the probate process for a number of different assets including bank accounts, life insurance policies, real estate, and retirement plans. By doing so, the designated asset goes straight to the person or charity that you had assigned and avoids probate. While this is an extremely helpful way of distributing your property, there are still things that you should and should not do when you are naming your beneficiaries.

DO let your beneficiaries know what you are planning to gift them or leave that information clearly in an easily accessed location. It is important that the beneficiary know that he or she is such, as when they do not know that they have been designated as a beneficiary the money may remain unclaimed.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Arkansas Estate and Gift Taxes

Giving or receiving an inheritance or a gift is often talked about during the estate planning process. It is often forgotten, however, that these types of transfers may carry tax consequences for those who are giving and those who are receiving.
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Friday, April 12, 2019

How Often Should I Update My Will?

Despite often proving difficult to think about what happens after we pass away, writing a legal will and other estate planning documents are extremely important. While it may be nice to have a will in place, as things change throughout our lives, and we evolve, so should our will and documents. 

It is not uncommon for life events such as marriage, births to occur. By updating your will, you ensure that your final goals and objectives are met – especially so that your loved ones are taken care of as you wish after you die. 

In order to ensure that this is so, it is recommended that you review your will with an estate-planning attorney after every major life occurrence.

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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Estate Planning Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On Dec. 22, 2017, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, changing estate planning for everyone. Under the new law, there are numerous – albeit complicated – tax planning opportunities, but simple estate planning provisions.

The estate tax exemption was increased to $11.2 million for each individual ($22.
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Saturday, March 30, 2019

What Can a Generation Skipping Trust Do For You?

Estate planning for wealthy individuals often involves using a variety of trusts to protect assets and avoid tax liabilities. However, trusts can be beneficial for anyone seeking to avoid probate, reduce tax liability, and protect assets. One type of trust that many families use to leave a legacy to future generations is a Generation Skipping Trust.

If you are interested in including a Generation Skipping Trust or another trust in your estate plan, an Arkansas estate planning attorney can provide guidance and suggestions as you develop an estate plan that protects you and your heirs.

What is a Generation Skipping Trust?

A Generation Skipping Trust (GST) allows grandparents to leave money or assets to their grandchildren to avoid paying estate tax twice. If a parent leaves property directly to a child, the inheritance is subject to federal estate tax if the value of the inheritance exceeds the estate tax exemption. If the parent then leaves the same assets to his or her children, the assets are subject to federal estate tax again if the value exceeds the estate tax exemption.

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