One of the best gifts you can give your children is to set up your own estate plan. Most people who come to see us, “want to get their affairs in order.” They want to make sure their property is distributed according to their wishes when they pass away. We can definitely help set up a plan to meet that goal. With proper planning, however, you can also avoid probate court and protect your assets from the cost of long-term care.
When you die with assets in your name—even if you have a will—your children will have to go through a probate court proceeding to get those assets transferred into their names. Probate can be a heavy burden on your children, and it would be a great gift to them if you helped avoid that. A typical probate in Arkansas is lengthy—approximately seven months to a year to wrap up—and is very expensive—three to five percent of the total value of the estate. Most people want their children to be able to access their assets as quickly as possible after they die, and they also want as much of their estate as possible to pass to their children, and not to court fees and attorney’s fees. With proper planning, your children can quickly and easily wrap up your affairs with little cost.
Another common goal people have is to leave the estate that they’ve worked hard to accumulate throughout their life to their children—not to a nursing home. The cost of nursing home care—averaging over $5,000 a month—adds up very quickly, which can quickly deplete your assets. There are, however, benefits available to help pay for your care. With proper pre-planning, you can protect a large amount of assets to ensure that your children receive as much of your estate as possible when you die.