It goes without saying that death is a topic that most people don’t enjoy discussing. Of course, death is inevitable, so it only makes sense to plan for it. This is why estate planning is important for every Arkansas family. Not having a plan in place means that, upon death, property and assets would have to go through the complicated and lengthy process of probate. Fortunately, setting up the proper estate plan can help avoid probate.
Revocable living trusts
A revocable living trust is basically a legal document that is created during a person’s lifetime and determines how his or her assets and property will be distributed upon death. Revocable living trusts can conveniently be modified or canceled any time. In order to protect property and assets from probate, the trustee must become the owner of the trust contents instead of the trust creator. This way, when the trust creator dies, the trustee can then transfer the assets directly to the designated beneficiaries, thus avoiding probate.
Joint ownership is another way to bypass probate. Joint ownership is basically the ownership of property by two or more people with right of survivorship. So, when an owner dies, the property is automatically transferred to the other owner. However, for property under joint ownership to avoid probate, the property title must include both owners. Some common forms of joint ownership are joint tenancy with right of survivorship, community property with right of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety.
Estate planning involves so much more than just will and trusts. For those in Arkansas who need help securing the future for their families, the best course of action may be to consult with a trusted legal representative. An experienced estate planning attorney can help families with securing their estates and offer invaluable peace of mind.