Probate & Estate Administration

Probate & Estate Administration

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 will that left assets to…

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Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration

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 101: You Must Fund Your…

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Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration

What is an Arkansas Probate?

The word “probate” comes from the Latin verb probare, which means “to try, test, prove, or examine.” (H/T to Wikipedia.) This is important for two reasons. First, it illustrates that probate, much like Latin, is outdated and should never be your go-to solution. Also, the definition is spot-on: Probate will both try you and test your patience. Most people (justifiably) fail…

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Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration

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 Make sure the trust beneficiaries…

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Estate Planning, Interesting Legal-Lawyering Stories, Probate & Estate Administration

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. But Matthew’s premature death meant…

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Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration

Wills vs. Trusts

Wills A will is an instrument that determines the disposition of a decedent’s property after death. A person who executes a will is a testator. Valid wills override the intestacy statutes. A will is ambulatory, or revocable, up to the death of the testator, at which point it becomes irrevocable. A will can be revoked, in whole or in part,…

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