The purpose of creating an estate plan is twofold…(1) you will be making a plan for who you want to receive the things you own after you die, and (2) you will be making preparations for the end of your life so that your family and/or friends are not left with a lot of issues at your death.
Do Most People Generally Need An Estate Plan?
Most people assume they do not have an estate or assets to plan for. They think estate planning only applies to the rich. However, if you own anything, yes, anything, then you have an estate. It may be very small, but you still have an estate.
Are People Generally Surprised When They Discover The Value or Size Of Their Estate?
Many people don’t realize they have a fairly large estate because they forget it all adds up…houses, cars, trucks, campers, your grandma’s china (that now has a higher value than you assumed). These things, when the value is all added together, usually turn into a far larger estate than people originally think.
Why Is It Necessary For People To Create An Estate Plan Before They Pass Away?
People need an estate plan in order to make sure their wishes for their belongings (or assets) are carried out after their death. If there is no estate plan in place, then the state will dictate where their assets go. This can often result in outcomes that would not please the individual.
What Happens If Someone Passes Away Without An Estate Plan?
Again, if there is no estate plan or will, the state will dictate how their assets pass.
Why Do People Generally Avoid Or Delay In Creating An Estate Plan?
The biggest factor in failing to make an estate plan is a dislike or fear of talking about death. But guess what? It will happen whether you plan for it or not. Better to be prepared than to arrive at the end with none of your affairs in order.
How Often Should Someone Maintain Or Checkup On Their Estate Plan?
I would recommend personally perusing your estate plan each year, to make sure no life changes have happened that year. It would be advisable to have your attorney review the plan every 3-5 years and make any necessary legal recommendations.
When Do People Typically Revise Their Estate Plans?
People typical revise their estate plans when they get married, divorced, have children, or when someone dies.
What Is Asset Protection Planning?
Asset protection is planning to help clients preserve and protect the property they have acquired during their lifetimes. The laws in Arkansas currently state that you can have no more than $2000, an auto and a home in order to qualify for Medicaid’s Long-Term Care Program. Many people think they can just give away assets in order to qualify, but this is not the case. Gifting without a plan may actually delay the amount of time an individual has to wait for Medicaid to cover their Long-Term Care!
What Steps Should Someone Take When They Want To Create An Estate Plan?
When looking to create an estate plan, an individual will need to have someone they trust to appoint as personal representative or trustee. They will need to work with an attorney to make sure their estate plan is compliant with the laws of the state. It would be helpful for them to know who they want as beneficiaries of their estate. And of course, they need to know if they will be the only ones creating this estate plan or if a spouse will join with them in the process.
For more information on Estate Planning In Arkansas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (501) 254-0311 today.