Almost everyone understands that estate planning is a matter of practical necessity. However, far too few Arkansans have made the preparations needed to protect their estate from uncertainty. In fact, experts estimate that up to 60% of Americans lack even the most rudimentary elements of an estate plan.
Without the right estate plan, you risk jeopardizing your life’s work, leaving your legacy—and your loved ones’ inheritances—to the mercy of an Arkansas probate court.
Five Reasons You Need to Speak to an Arkansas Estate Planning Attorney
For many people, estate planning is anything but a priority. While you might already know that a will is the only way to save your estate from the travails of intestate succession, contacting an attorney and working out a complete estate plan may seem like a task that’s best saved for old age. However, a robust estate plan does more than distribute assets: it could help you protect your health, your wealth, and your loved ones. Here are five things you can accomplish with an estate plan.
Making Critical Decisions
Your estate plan should almost certainly include a last will and testament. However, your estate plan should encompass more than inheritance-related decisions. An estate plan affords you the opportunity to:
- Designate a guardian for your minor children
- Make decisions about your care in the event you are ever disabled or incapacitated
- Protect loved ones with special needs from losing their support network
- Decrease your liability in the event of insolvency or a personal financial crisis
- Dictate the terms of your legacy
An experienced Arkansas estate planning attorney can help you identify strategies that correspond with and complement your vision, values, and aspirations.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
The internet is awash with deceptively simple legal resources. For example, many websites advertise Arkansas will templates, trust formation documents, and codicil pages. However, even simple documents—like a will—could be compromised if they contain even the slightest mistake. A Jonesboro estate planning attorney could help you preserve your legacy by:
- Ensuring that your will complies with state law
- Eliminating the sort of ambiguous language and inaccuracies that could lead to an unexpected lawsuit
- Reviewing and updating your beneficiary designations
- Discussing how alternate estate planning strategies could decrease your tax burden while increasing your control over your assets
Reducing Tax Liability
Arkansas does not currently have a state estate tax. However, the federal Internal Revenue Service still subjects larger estates, and their heirs, to inheritance taxes. Your Jonesboro, Arkansas, estate planning attorney could minimize your tax liabilities by:
- Assessing the total value of your estate
- Determining your estate’s eligibility for federal tax deductions and exemptions
- Strategically allocating lifetime gifts and donations to keep your estate safe from unnecessary taxation
Avoiding Probate Court
Whenever an Arkansas resident passes away, their remaining possessions—their estate—must be dissolved and distributed. In Arkansas, probate is the time-consuming, emotionally draining process of transferring the decedent’s assets to their named heirs. Even when family members agree on the terms of their inheritances, probate can quickly become expensive, especially if the deceased person left behind any unpaid bills.
A Jonesboro, Arkansas, estate planning attorney can do more than help your family navigate the complexities of probate: they can help your loved ones avoid the courts altogether. Since Arkansas allows residents to establish revocable living trusts, you may be able to pass on your assets without the need for a judge’s supervision.
Anticipating Potential Conflicts
Estate planning isn’t always easy, especially if you anticipate conflicts between heirs and other loved ones. Your lawyer could help you minimize potential disagreements by providing unbiased, impartial answers that complement your unique family dynamics and financial circumstances.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today
Quraishi Law & Wealth has spent years helping Arkansans of all different backgrounds establish strong estate plans. Our highly experienced team of attorneys could help you identify ideal estate planning strategies that not only ensure your family’s right to inheritance but provide tangible benefits while you’re still alive. Please send us a message online or call us today at 870-275-4304 to speak to a professional and schedule your initial consultation.