When the time comes to start estate-planning individuals often waste money and time hiring lawyers to sort through and verify information that we should already have. This usually happens because most people put off estate planning as long as possible starting only when they feel pressured and unprepared. Instead of waiting until the last minute to start the estate planning process in Arkansas gather details about your assets, create a draft of your will, and contact an attorney.
It is easy for people to underestimate the value of wills and accurate record keeping. This especially true if a person thinks that they do not have that much to dispose of. In reality, anyone that owns any property or has any money needs a will. Creating a will is often the first step in responsible estate planning in Arkansas and will help avoid hard feelings or misunderstandings between family members and close friends.
Accurate recording keeping is an important part of creating a will because a will is really a list of all the things that you own and the people who will later receive this property. In order to make the will making process go easier it is important to keep accurate, up to date, information regarding all bank accounts, investment accounts, trusts, vehicles, homes, clothing, jewelry, art, electronics, etc. Everything you own of value must be accounted for.
In addition to that it is important that you keep accurate records of close friends, relatives, and anyone else that you might want to name as your heir. Without this information it is easy to omit someone especially if you feel rushed in an attorneys office that is charging hourly. Keeping accurate records will help avoid oversights and save you from doing last minute, rushed, research.
If you have records of assets and beneficiaries then creating a draft of a will should be easy. In Arkansas individuals 18 years of age or older can create a draft of a will and take it to a local attorney who specializes in estate planning or wills. Have them look over your draft to ensure that no mistakes or oversights will cause problems later. The lawyer can then file the will with the court to validate it.
There are many people who do not create a will. Either they do not have the time to create one or the money to hire a lawyer to check and file a will. When this happens in Arkansas all property immediately passes to children unless you have a spouse that you have been married to for more than three years. If you have a spouse that you have been married to for more than three years they receive all assets. In the event that you have been married to your spouse for less than three years they will only receive 50 per cent of the estate. When no children or spouse are present the estate goes to your parents.