Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Young Professionals: Guardians for your children

2.         Name a Guardian for your children (even if they are not born yet). If you have children, you already know it is incredibly important for you to name an individual who will raise your children if you are no longer around. If you are married, your spouse (especially if she is the birth parent of your children) will…

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Estate Planning

Young Professionals: Plan for the Unexpected

I thought it could be good to touch on estate planning for another group of people- young professionals. I find myself in this classification and realize the lack of concern that people in their 20s and 30s have. However; along with typical future-looking actions like buying a house, contributing to a retirement account, and maybe buying a little life insurance,…

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning: Newly Widowed

A new special feature in the law, portability, allows widows and widowers to add any unused exemptions of their most recently deceased spouse to their own personal exemption. This isn’t automatic. The executor of the deceased spouse’s estate must file a federal estate tax return, even if no tax is owed. The return is due within nine months after death,…

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Estate Planning

The 80/20 of Estate Planning

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the wealth in Italy at the time was held by 20% of the citizenry. Since that time, thought-leaders from various disciplines have picked up on the “Pareto principle,” or the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is often reframed to clarify that we usually get 80% of the results from 20%…

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Estate Planning, Family Law

Estate Planning: Planning to Remarry

Before a remarriage you should discuss your estate plans. This changes from should to must when there are children from a previous relationship. Do you want to leave everything to the kids, or half to the kids and half to the new spouse? If you want to benefit both grown children and your current spouse, decide whether the kids should…

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Estate Planning, Family Law

Estate Planning: Headed for Divorce

The time between a separation and divorce is tricky from an estate-planning perspective. By law, spouses are entitled to inherit a minimum portion of each other’s assets, which is one-third in Arkansas. Unless they waive that right in a prenuptial agreement, it continues until the divorce is finalized. Some divorces are quick and uncontested. Some divorces can last for years…

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning: A Bun in the Oven

On The Parent Track If you’re a parent or about to become one it is time to get serious about planning. This is the case whether you’re married, single, or co-habitating, The first step is to sign a Will naming a guardian to raise your child. Couples should agree on the choice of guardian and each of their Wills appointing…

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning: Just Married

Married couples have more built-in protections than unmarried couples. For example, provided both are U.S. citizens, they can leave each other at death (or transfer to each other while alive) an unlimited amount of property without worrying about estate or gift taxes. And, if a couple has neither children nor wills, the surviving spouse can automatically inherit all of a…

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning: In a Relationship

A growing number of unmarried couples in same-sex or heterosexual relationships are signing cohabitation agreements.  These cohabitation agreements cover how assets will be divided if they break up and sometimes include promises to provide for each other through an estate plan. The problem is most states do not have laws explicitly recognizing such agreements—meaning blood relatives could challenge the survivor’s…

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Estate Planning

Estate Planning: Single & Employed

This is a continuation of the previous article on estate planning and how most people’s biggest concern should not be the estate tax, also known as the “death tax.” Most people believe estate plans are for those who have a large amount of wealth and forget the simple things. These are simple documents we all should have, even when we…

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