Estate planning: If you want it done right, create a will

| Dec 23, 2016 | Estate Administration, Firm News

An old Irish saying goes like this:

In life, there are only two things to worry about — either you are well or you are sick. If you are well, there is nothing to worry about.

But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about — either you will get well or you will die. If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.

But if you die, there are only two things to worry about —

There’s more to the saying but for the sake of this entry, we’ll end there because what follows doesn’t contribute to the subject matter we want to address — handing down material goods to your heirs and how it occurs.

In the state of Arkansas, one thing is sure; the probate process will be followed. Assets of the deceased person will be distributed to heirs – whoever they might be. If the person dies and a legal will exists, that document will guide how the court acts. If the person dies without a will, intestate succession laws rule.

When a person dies intestate, the state takes over the task of estate distribution. This can present problems on several levels. For one thing, any heir can make a claim to know what the deceased would have liked to see happen and take the matter before the court. This can take a lot of time and families that manage to navigate the process with a minimum of disagreement can still expect to see probate costs eat into the inheritance.

Having a valid will is one tool available for avoiding such difficulties. Others may be useful depending on the nature of your circumstances. To learn which might work best for you, consult an experienced attorney.

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