Living Trusts on KATV Channel 7

See Jason Files on KATV's Good Afternoon, Arkansas on November 19, 2018. 

 WATCH HERE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) — Attorney Jason Files describes what a living trust is and in what ways people would use them.

"A living trust is similar to a will, in that it is a way to transfer your property to your heirs. But, it has some advantages-- it is faster; it is private; it doesn't require the court to be involved- it avoids probate; it can be cheaper. It is also different in that a trust takes effect immediately, not on your death. It can be used if you become temporarily disabled- you can have a successor already lined up who will be able to put your assets to use for you.

 What a trust is-- it is a separate entity into which you can put your property. With a revocable or "living" trust, you can take those things out of the trust at any time. You are still in control. It is basically like a treasure chest that you have the key to.

Who is a trust for-- not just for wealthy people. Not right for everybody; if you have a very limited estate there may be an easier way to avoid probate.

What happens at death-- the living trust becomes an irrevocable trust. The successor trustee takes over, and must follow the dictates of the person who created the trust. The creator has much more flexibility in what happens versus distribution through a simple will. If you have a minor child, the trust can continue until they are an adult. If you have an heir who can't handle money, you can keep their inheritance protected."

Get a free consultation by calling 501-374-0616 to talk to an attorney about what is right for your situation. We focus our practice in Pulaski County, Saline County, Faulkner County, Arkansas County, Conway County, Perry County, Pope County, Yell County, and Lonoke County. If you are elsewhere in Arkansas, we can still help, even if that means connecting you to a trusted colleague. Call us today!  

What happens if I die without a will or trust in Arkansas?

If you die without a will in Arkansas, the state decides who your heirs are. Every state has its own laws about passing property when you die. The answer in Arkansas to who gets what depends on your family makeup and who else in your family is alive when you pass away.  

Keep in mind as we go through the following scenarios that the property we’re discussing is “intestate property.” That means it is property that would have been in your will if you had had one. If you have a life insurance policy, for example, you have chosen beneficiaries. When you die, the life insurance proceeds go directly to the beneficiaries and don’t have to go through probate or any other legal process. Intestate property is also usually property you own in your name only. Putting property in a trust can also remove it from your intestate estate. 

Are you married? If so, for how long? If you have been married for longer than three years and don’t have children, then your spouse gets everything. If you have been married for fewer than three years, your spouse gets half of your property and your family (according to the laws of intestate succession) gets the other half. 

If you die with children or other descendants and no spouse, they get the property. If your parents are still alive, but you have no children, your parents will get everything. If you have no children, parents, or a spouse, then your siblings will inherit your property. 

Let’s go back to spouses. Even if you have a will, your spouse is entitled to 1/3 of your property, including getting to use 1/3 of your real property (a house, for example) for the rest of his life if you also have children. If you don’t have children, your spouse would get half of both your real and personal property. 

The distribution of your intestate property can be very complicated depending on your situation. If you have questions, call us to schedule a free consultation. 

 Get a free consultation by calling 501-374-0616 to talk to an attorney about what is right for your situation. We focus our practice in Pulaski County, Saline County, Faulkner County, Arkansas County, Conway County, Perry County, Pope County, Yell County, and Lonoke County. If you are elsewhere in Arkansas, we can still help, even if that means connecting you to a trusted colleague. Call us today!