Estate Planning

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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Thursday, March 28, 2019

5 Reasons to Consider a Qualified Personal Residence Trust


An Arkansas estate-planning attorney may recommend using a variety of estate planning tools to accomplish your goals. One of those tools may be a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT).


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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.
Read more . . .


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.

Incapacity

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.


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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 . . .


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