Estate Planning

Roberds Law Firm Estate Planning

Northwest Arkansas Estate Planning Attorney Ben T. Roberds

Regardless of your age, station in life, or the amount of money in your bank account, estate planning is a tool that can benefit you and protect those you care about. In most cases, a minimal amount of planning can be less costly in the long run than having no estate plan at all.

Meeting with an estate planning attorney can help you address a wide variety of concerns. It is a common misconception that an individual or couple ‘does not have enough assets to justify estate planning.’ We all reach a time in our life when we want or need help protecting our assets and families.

A customized estate plan will memorialize what you want to have happen with your estate as well as provide authorization for the people you desire or appoint to help.

If you aren’t sure when is the right time to start planning your estate, consider the following questions:

  • Do you have children?
  • Would you like to establish a trust account?
  • How large is your estate?
  • How is your health and what stage of life are you in?
  • How do you want your assets to be split?
  • Who will succeed you in running your business?
  • Do you have concerns about financial or healthcare power of attorney?

Call the Roberds Law Firm to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your unique estate planning needs. (479) 464-0904

 

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a set of legal documents which provide authority and instructions for those you authorize to act on your behalf if you are no longer able to act yourself due to incapacity or death. An estate plan can: eliminate uncertainty, maximize the value of your estate, minimize expenses associated with your estate, and reduce or eliminate tax liability to your estate and heirs.

A basic estate plan includes a will or trust and powers of attorney (for financial, property, and health care matters). Other important estate planning documents to consider include:

  • Quit Claim Deeds
  • Warranty Deeds
  • Beneficiary Deeds
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Living Will
  • Pour Over Will
  • Trust
  • Revocable Trust
  • Joint Revocable Trust
  • Agreement to Make a Trust
  • Bypass Trust
  • Credit bypass Trust
  • Tax Shelter Trust
  • Spendthrift Trust

It is important to keep in mind that an estate plan is not one-size-fits-all and that your estate plan should be tailored to fit your individual needs.

Estate Planning Areas of Service

Wills

When you create a will you give specific individuals or institutions the authority to administer your estate following death. Wills require a court proceeding called a probate, which provides certain safeguards, specifically court oversight, while an estate is being settled.

Power of Attorney

Arkansas power of attorney for financial and property matters will allow you to appoint the individual or individuals who are authorized to execute certain documents on your behalf. It is a common misconception that by operation of marriage, or by being a family member, that someone already has power of attorney. Depending on how a power of attorney is drafted, a spouse or named individual(s) can be authorized to deal with the Social Security Administration, local banks, and the IRS.

Trust Accounts & Living Trusts

The trust account and revocable living trust are common tools used in estate planning. The general concept of a living trust is that you can title your property in the name of the trust before death or designate the trust as beneficiary to receive ownership of property at death.  Designating property to a trust allows your estate to be distributed without the lengthy and costly process of going through probate court.

Bentonville’s Premier Estate Planning Attorney

If you are ready to build a customized estate plan, or if you need help with deeds, trusts, or establishing or enforcing power of attorney, call estate planning lawyer Ben T. Roberds and the Roberds Law Firm to schedule a complimentary consultation. (479) 464-0904