What is an Estate Plan and Why do I need one?

What is an Estate Plan and Why do I need One?What is an Estate Plan?

Estate Plan: a comprehensive approach to ensuring that your financial goals and medical preferences are respected during your lifetime, and that your property is distributed according to your instructions at the time of your death.

Why do I need one?

DURING YOUR LIFE: an estate plan provides management for your assets, and instructions for your health care.

Health Care: A health care power of attorney and a health care proxy will allow the person(s) that you specify to make medical decisions for you, when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.  These documents also outline which life-saving procedures you would prefer to receive, and those you would not.

Some people would choose not to be reliant upon life-support, while others would want all possible life-saving options to be tried.  The use of these documents allow your loved ones and your health care professionals to be aware of your preferences, and to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able.

Property Decisions: Financial powers of attorney designate an individual to make decisions regarding your property and finances.  You can designate whether the power of attorney is effective immediately, or only upon your mental or physical incapacitation.

AT YOUR DEATH: an estate plan provides for the orderly settlement and distribution of your estate. Perhaps most importantly, an estate plan can help preserve assets for your heirs.  Without a carefully designed estate plan, your assets may not go to your preferred beneficiaries, as you had intended.

Arkansas has a table of descents which outlines who will receive a person’s property, if he or she dies without a validly executed will.  When someone passes away without leaving a will, it does not matter what that person said, wanted, or intended to do with their property.  The law determines how the property will be distributed.

These items are commonly included in Estate Plans:

  • Will
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Will
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Beneficiary Deeds

Please understand that this post includes simplified descriptions of items that most individuals require in their estate planning package.  Call your estate planning attorney to discuss your individual situation, and assure that your specific needs are met.

If you need assistance with your estate plan in Arkansas, please contact The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, or a licensed attorney in your state.

ATTORNEY: Learn more about our Attorneys and Staff.

SERVING: Cabot, Beebe, Ward, Searcy, Jacksonville, Lonoke County, White County, Faulkner County, and other central Arkansas areas. We also routinely serve out-of-state clients, who require representation in Arkansas.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Last updated: September 27, 2017 at 8:58 am