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Fayetteville Law Blog

Can trust funds be protected from your child's later divorce?

As a parent, you want to help your children as much as you can. But you can’t solve all their problems and you know that many marriages end in divorce. Is there a way you can offer them an inheritance that won’t be lost in a future divorce?

If you are planning your estate and you are worried about an unfortunate marriage involving one of your children later in their life, a trust might be for you.

Can what you post on social media affect your divorce?

Social media has become such a normal part of most peoples' day-to-day lives that many do not think twice about what they post. If you are one of them, and if you are currently going through a divorce in Arkansas, you may want to think twice about your impulsive ways, as what you post to social media can come back to haunt you during the divorce proceedings.

According to HuffPost Life, social media can generate ample evidence for both parties of a divorce to use against one another when it comes to child support, alimony, custody and other issues. For instance, divorce judges need full and honest financial disclosure from both parties before they can make determinations regarding property or support. If you reveal information about a new job, promotion or bonus on social media but failed to reveal that same information to the court, the judge may determine you were dishonest in your financial declarations. Such a fact could hurt your position when it comes to spousal and child support and asset division.

Detailing intestate succession

Despite the best efforts of estate planning experts both in Fayetteville and throughout the rest of the U.S., a majority of American adults do not have a will. When one to whom you would be a presumed heir dies intestate (without a will), you may think that you and your fellow heirs are in for a significant legal battle over you gets what from their estate. Many clients come to us here at the Gramling Estes Law Firm expecting the same thing, only to then learn that the state has already decided how their loved ones' estates will be dispersed. 

Each state has created their own guidelines governing intestate succession in order to avoid the potential for conflict that can occur in such cases. Those for the state of Arkansas can be found in Section 28-9-214 of the state's Wills, Estates and Fiduciary Relationships Code. Here, the descent table stipulates that if you are the direct descendant of an intestate decedent, you are among the first entitled to receive assets and/or property from their estate. If you are the decedent's spouse, you will inherit their estate only if they left no surviving descendants. You would be entitled to the entire estate if you have been married for more than three years; if you were married for less time than that, you would receive 50 percent of the estate, and the other half would go the decedent's parents. 

Know your property rights under ‘adverse possession’ law

“Squatters rights” is one of those legal theories we grow up hearing, much like “finders keepers” or “possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

But “squatters rights” actually has a legal basis called “adverse possession” under which land can change ownership if neglected and claimed under specific circumstances.

Family drama and family law issues

We have discussed many of the reasons why family law matters can be challenging, but some people have unique difficulties to deal with as they work through various family law issues. From child custody battles to grandparents’ rights, child support, and property division, there are all sorts of family law matters that people have to work through. Moreover, additional stressors may be present, such as family drama. Whether someone is struggling with a former partner who is gossiping about them online or their former spouse’s relatives are making life difficult, family drama can be very tough for some people.

People may be bothered by their relatives as well, such as a parent who disagrees with their decision to end the marriage or a sibling who is upset about the divorce or some other family law issue. Sometimes, people may have to deal with a former spouse’s relatives at work or in other aspects of life, and these encounters can be very hard to handle. Sometimes, people may even harass someone over a family law issue, and if your rights have been violated or you are worried about your safety it is pivotal to protect yourself.

What is gray divorce?

Divorces in Arkansas do not just happen to people in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Older couples are actually getting divorced more often these days than in the past. When you get a divorce and are over the age of 50, it is a gray divorce. While gray divorce does not happen as often as divorce with younger couples, according to Psychology Today, it is becoming more common.

You are more likely to get a grey divorce if you have been through a divorce before. If this is your second, third or subsequent marriage, your chances increase for a divorce, which is the same at any age. The thing with grey divorce is that in most cases, divorce is something inevitable. Everyone around you will already know a divorce is likely because there will have been signs.

What is the best way to divide the family farm?

Managing your estate is not always an easy process. Trying to please everyone and not create hard feelings is tough. However, when you need to divide the family farm in your estate, things can escalate quickly if your heirs do not agree with your decision. You can make sure your Arkansas farm stays operational long after you are gone by making smart decisions when it comes to your estate planning.

According to Farm Progress, there is no one right plan that works in all cases, but if you consider all the different aspects of your farm business, it can make things easier. You also need to build in flexibility for future changes and needs. Also, keep in mind that if you have some heirs that farm and some that do not, it could create extra tension and issues, so you need to ensure a fair split, which may not mean an equal split.

What is a right-of-way easement?

If you are a property owner in Arkansas, you may come across something called a right-of-way easement. According to Zacks, this is an arrangement where someone else can use part of your property to access his or her property. For example, if your neighbor owns a small area of land behind your house that is not accessible by a public roadway or another driveway, then he or she may be able to get a right-of-way easement that he or she can use to reach the property.

This is a legal right and you will see it on the deed to your property. You should have learned of it when you bought the property if it was not created since you bought it. The right is just for access. It does not mean the other person can use your property in any other way. You still own the property. You hold all responsibility to the property, including the area used by the other person.

When should I ask for a child support modification?

After an Arkansas court makes a ruling on your child support case, setting the amount of support you pay or receive, this is not the end of the road. You will have a chance to request a modification in the future if you need one. However, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, there are clear rules on when you can ask for a modification to your child support order.

If you think about it, restrictions on modification requests makes sense because there are so many child support cases in the state. If you could ask for a change whenever you want for any reason, it would clog the system and make it very difficult to ever get a ruling. So, the state sets specific guidelines for requesting a change to your child support order.

Are you worried the executor of an estate is untrustworthy?

Do you know what to watch out for in an executor? If you are the beneficiary of an estate that is in the hands of an untrustworthy executor, do you know your legal options? Executors are bound by law to perform their fiduciary duties honestly, but not everyone is up to the task.

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Gramling Estes Law Firm

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Gramling Estes Law Firm
One East Center #140
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 521-4444
Fax: (479) 521-6730
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