Opening a Probate for a Personal Injury, Mass Tort, or Other Lawsuit in Arkansas

We have all heard it and it is true, bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, those things involve a lawsuit after someone has passed away. When that happens there is a specific type of probate called a special administration. This type of probate is used to deal with one specific issue and not the…

Out of State Probate (AKA Ancillary Probate)

Probate is a process that nobody wants to go through. That being said, if it is handled correctly it can lower the stress and the conflict between family members. In this article, we are going to explain how the probate process works if you have to open a probate in another state first and then…

Stepchildren Rights to Probate Assets

Many disputed estate cases involve differences between stepparents and stepchildren. Whether the case involves a will, trust, or other end-of-life matters, the interests and motives of stepparents and stepchildren may be very different. So, who is right? Unfortunately, the typical legal response applies: “It depends.” IS THERE A WILL? Mom or Dad may have a…

Estate Planning and Property Deeds

One of the most important aspects of good estate planning is making sure that we have the information we need about your assets. Some estate planners in Arkansas are content simply to create a trust and leave it up to you to put your assets into it. (Otherwise known as “funding” your trust.) Estate Planning…

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act Explained

Our subject today is the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. There, I said it. This blog exists for a few different reasons, but this is the biggest one: We want to explain how laws that you otherwise would not know or care about can make your life better. Laws are—after all—yours. You should be…

How to Avoid Probate (and Family Fights) Over a Bank Account

A big part of our job is helping people avoid the Arkansas probate process. One of the ways we help people avoid probate is changing information about personal bank accounts. If you die and you’re the only person on your bank account, your heirs will not be passing go or collecting any money. Instead, they’ll…

Probate: Why not take care of it while you’re alive?

Q: Don’t want your family fighting after you are gone? A: Probate your estate plan while you are alive. This process is known as ante-mortem probate. The Arkansas Ante-Mortem Probate Act was passed in 1979. Ark. Code Ann. § 28-40-201 et seq. It provides testators (the people making the Will) the right to go to…

Do you know how to sign your name?

When signing a document on behalf of someone else or an entity, make sure you sign in that capacity – As an Agent.  The list is not an exhaustive list of roles agents can hold , but these examples can help you sign in any agency capacity. How to sign as an Attorney-in-fact Your loved…

IRAs and Trusts

I recently read a blog that stated “Naming a trust as a beneficiary of your IRA isn’t a good idea.” It went on and stated that it can get complicated and be done improperly. They did give some considerations to think about: Do you have any good reasons for leaving IRA money to a trust…

Matthew Crawley: Would his letter suffice as a Will in Arkansas?

Downton Abbey’s season premiere on Sunday night brought in more viewers than any other premiere in PBS’s history. For Downtown devotees, the episode was a little more somber than most. Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise anyone; after all, Matthew Crawley was one of the show’s most popular characters and his death was a shock to everyone….