Estate Planning Attorneys in Jonesboro, AR Using Their Knowledge and Experience to Protect What Matters Most to Your Family
Many people tend to think that estate planning is only for the wealthy, those with mansions, large bank accounts, or yachts that they need to allocate upon their death. For others, estate planning is perceived as only something the elderly need to pursue. The truth is, neither of these is accurate. Everyone can benefit from having an estate plan in place if they have assets that they want to allocate upon their death or incapacitated state, and they don’t have to be wealthy or elderly to benefit from having one.
OMG Law Firm has a team of dedicated attorneys that have multiple years of experience in helping families just like yours to protect what they have worked hard for and make sure that it is allocated appropriately when the time comes to do so. Contact our Jonesboro, AR offices today at 870-568-3870 to learn more about what options you have and how to get started.
Why is Estate Planning Important?
If you think in terms of your estate, it involves everything you own, and what you have worked hard for over your lifetime, no matter how long or short that may be. It can include things like your home or other properties that you own, your bank accounts and investments, your car, furniture, other personal possessions, as well as your life insurance.
Having an estate plan allows you to allocate those assets to those whom you feel it is important to receive them. Whether that be family members or organizations that you care about. Your wishes and intentions are documented, directing those involved as to how you want your belongings, cash, property, and more distributed upon your death.
When you don’t make these decisions, they are left up to state law and probate or remaining family members to decide, and at times, this can be less than desirable, especially when emotions are involved.
Who Can Estate Planning Protect?
Some of the most important people in our lives are generally our children. Having an estate plan in place can ensure that they are taken care of in the event of your death. If you pass away and there is no surviving spouse, who will get custody of your children? Things like this can be decided by you ahead of time and honored based on your wishes after you are gone. Naming a person in your will that will have the responsibility for your children will keep probate from appointing a guardian/conservator that you may not have chosen yourself. Or, in the event of there not being surviving family members or third parties that step forward, your children can become a ward of the state and enter into the foster care system.
A power of attorney or healthcare proxy can also be named to handle your medical, legal, or financial decisions if you are temporarily or permanently incapable of doing so yourself. Without this being stipulated, the person in charge of these decisions is either chosen by the family or appointed by the court to make decisions on your behalf. You can also include a healthcare directive to ensure that what you want or don’t want to happen in terms of your healthcare does or does not happen, should you become incapacitated. You can decide things like whether you want life support if you have no brain activity, for example, alleviating the emotional stress these decisions can leave on family members left behind.
Can Estate Planning Save Money or Time?
If you haven’t nominated a person to be in charge of your assets upon your death, the probate courts will typically name someone to become a representative tasked with distributing your assets. This can be a surviving spouse, but if there isn’t one, and there isn’t another close family member that is willing or able to do the job, the court may name a public trustee to distribute your assets.
During this time, your assets are “frozen” or aren’t able to be touched or used. The courts will review them thoroughly, apply state laws, pay off debts, and more. This process can be time-consuming and involves court appearances with attorneys who are also generally paid by your estate. This can eat up a lot of your assets, leaving less for your family members or loved ones after the process has been finalized.
If you have a plan in place ahead of time, it can alleviate some of this, saving your family time and money upon your death. The person you have selected to allocate your assets, or your executor, will do as your will states, streamlining costly processes that probate courts require. You can also name beneficiaries to specific items such as 401k’s, annuities, life insurance accounts, and other financial accounts, so those items are distributed accordingly based on your decisions without going through probate.
You can also set up a trust to establish where your property and assets will be allocated upon your death, which can have tax advantages in certain cases, and may avoid probate for those assets.
Why OMG Law Firm?
As you can see, there are complexities that a lot of us don’t always think of when it comes to estate planning. Having someone experienced and professional to help you untangle important decisions about your future can be of immeasurable importance not only to you but to your family.
Contact our Jonesboro, AR offices today at 870-568-3870 to discuss your estate planning goals and begin to put a plan in place that leaves you confident.