Estate Planning

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Drawbacks of Using a Will Alone

Will my estate go through probate if I have a Last Will and Testament?

Wills and estate planning have become nearly synonymous. When most of us hear the term estate planning, our minds jump to creating a will, and wills do serve an important purpose when it comes to estate planning. The Last Will and Testament is one of the oldest estate planning tools.  With a will, you can name who you want to receive your assets upon your death. Absent this crucial document, your assets will simply be divided in accordance with state law.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Make Sure Your Estate Plan is Disaster Proof

How should I store my estate planning documents to protect against natural disasters?


This past year, parts of the nation were struck by horrific natural disasters. In California, multiple wild fires resulted in thousands of families losing their homes and the destruction of entire towns. In North Carolina, Hurricane Florence caused extensive flooding in some regions, forcing families to start over. Meanwhile, Hurricane Michael became the most powerful storm to ever hit the panhandle, causing thousands of residents in communities in the area to lose their homes and businesses. These tragedies highlight the sad fact that in a moment, your possessions could be destroyed.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Estate-Planning Documents Every 18-year Old Should Have

Many young adults believe they do not need to meet with an Arkansas estate planning attorney because they are too young, do not have sufficient assets, or they simply do not want to deal with issues related to death or incapacitation. However, when a child turns 18 years old, they are no longer a minor. They now have certain privacy rights that a parent cannot violate. Unfortunately, these privacy rights could prevent a parent from caring for or assisting a child once the child is no longer a minor.

Therefore, parents and young adults should work with an Read more . . .

Monday, December 10, 2018

The New Tax Law and Your Estate Plan

How might the new tax law influence your estate planning decisions?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December of 2017, is anticipated to have far-reaching tax consequences.  One overlooked field that will certainly be impacted is that of estate planning. Tax reform will bring about direct changes to the estate tax exemption, while also have indirect consequences on how you can best plan for the transfer of your assets to the next generation.
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Why Should I Prepare an Estate Plan?

Estate plans serve two major purposes: to prepare you and your loved ones for potential incapacity and certain death. Depending upon your individual purpose for creating an estate plan, you can choose different elements. That is why it is so important to understand these two main purposes of having an estate plan.


Under the law, an individual is considered to be incapacitated if he or she is not able to understand the nature and potential results of a legal proceeding. An individual can be both mentally incapacitated, as well as physically incapacitated.

In estate planning, incapacity means that an individual is unable to control or make decisions for his or her own affairs. If an individual does not have an estate plan that accounts for potential incapacitation, he or she may be appointed a court-supervised guardian or conservator.

Read more . . .

Monday, October 15, 2018

Learning From Aretha Franklin’s Death

What will happen to Franklin’s estate?

Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, recently passed away at the age of 76.  Franklin, who rose to fame and fortune in the late 1960’s, left behind an estate with an estimated value of $80 million. While the size of her estate is no surprise given her fame, what shocked many is that she did not have a will or trust in place.  Without a will to guide the distribution of her assets, her assets will be forced to go through probate and be divided per state law. Our Arkansas estate planning lawyers discuss what will become of Franklin’s estate and how you can use estate planning to avoid probate.

The Fate of Franklin’s Estate

Aretha Franklin’s $80 million estate will need to go through probate in her home state of Michigan because she died without a will or trust in place.  Without any instructions as to her last wishes, the court will be required to distribute her assets in accordance with the law in her home state.  Her family will need to make decisions as to a funeral and burial because they do not have guidance on the matter.

Read more . . .

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Aretha Franklin Dies Without Will: What Next?

The “Queen of Soul” passed away last month of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. Aretha Franklin, a pioneer in the music industry, demanded to be paid in cash before performances. Despite knowing of her terminal illness, she did not plan ahead and leave a..

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Estate Planning for Millennials

Why is it important for young people to have an estate plan?

Millennials, or those born between the years of 1981 and 1996, are now busy building careers and starting families of their own. Today’s Millennials watched the nation take a hit during the 2007 recession. For many Millennials, this defining event has created an air of caution when it comes to finances and investing. Wise Millennials understand that developing an...

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

What unique considerations exist for business owners when creating an estate plan?

Business owners wear many hats. As a small business owner, you are a general manager, advertising and marketing manager, therapist, copywriter, accountant, and much more. You play a vital role in your business’ success, and it is critical that you take steps to ensure your business will continue to thrive after your death. Without an estate plan in place that contemplates the needs of the business, your death could result in the end of the business. Our

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Monday, May 28, 2018

The Future of Estate Planning

Does estate planning still matter with the passage of the new tax bill?

Traditionally, much of estate planning revolved around avoidance of the so-called death tax. The death or estate tax applied to individuals or couples who died with over a certain amount of assets. When applied, the death tax could consume nearly half of the deceased person’s assets. However, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the death tax has become nearly obsolete. The new tax law now raises the estate tax exemption to $11.

Read more . . .

Monday, May 21, 2018

What Happens to Your Cryptocurrencies When You Die?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a virtual form of money that is only used for online transactions. Cryptocurrencies do not have intrinsic value because they are not redeemable for another commodity such as gold or silver. However, cryptocurrencies can have substantial value. This form of currency does not have any physical form and only exists online. Therefore, it can be a challenge to ensure that the asset is not lost when someone dies.

Read more . . .

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