Estate Planning Guidance
Proper estate planning can help ensure you minimize the complication of probate for your loved ones. Wills, trusts, and estates all fall under probate cases. Your estate plan creates a legal contract in writing that establishes your wishes about your estate’s administration upon your incapacity or death.
At Artherton Law, you can get the estate planning help you need to prepare for the future. I am attorney Angela Artherton, an estate planning attorney who proudly serves clients throughout northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Planning Your Estate
Sometimes for larger estates, tax planning is required. Every person over 18 years old should have a living will, especially if minors are involved. Without a will, the estate will determine important matters including who will care for your children and who inherits your property. We can assist in your estate planning, so no details are left out and no surprises arise.
Here are some things to consider when you are planning your estate:
- If there are mortgages or creditors for any estate larger than $100,000
- Someone must take an inventory of the estate’s property. This includes personal property, real state and any financial accounts (bonds, stock, etc.)
- Assets may be subject to federal regulations and taxes
- If there are any creditors (mortgages, credit card bills, or hospital bills, etc)
- If the estate is small and uncontested, a beneficiary must certify that at least 45 days have passed since the person’s death and all debts against the estate have been paid
- Arkansas does NOT have an estate or inheritance tax, but federal taxes may still apply
- Federal gift and estate tax codes change often, and attorneys are skilled in knowing these changes so you don’t have to
- Notice of the probate must appear in the newspaper and must run for at least two weeks. Creditors who have a claim against the estate have six months to answer.
- The personal representative pays any claims against the estate and any taxes owed
- The estate may have to file a final income tax return
A person should also make sure their will is always up to date. When life changes, your estate plans should also change. If you should pass on without making changes to your estate plan after a major life event, your loved ones may not end up getting the inheritance you want them to receive. Changes to wills could happen in the following instances:
- Marriage or divorce
- Birth to or adoption of a child
- When a beneficiary of your estate dies
- When you move to another state
- When your children are no longer minors
- When federal or state tax laws affect your estate
- If your net worth increases drastically
- When someone you’ve named as an executor, trustee or guardian is no longer able to fulfill their role or when you decide to change one of these
- When you have a change in the way your property is distributed
Start Your Planning Today
If you are looking for help developing or updating your estate plan, do not wait another moment to begin planning. Contact my office at 870-627-3031 or email me here to schedule your initial consultation today.