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Fayetteville Law Blog

Using open dialogue to discuss estate planning with your family

When you decide to start planning your estate, you may immediately begin thinking of your end-of-life desires, who you want to gift your assets to and how to organize essential documents that will identify your wishes. While all of these aspects are important, executing your plan will require the assistance of a lot of people. At Gramling Estes Law Firm, we have helped many families in Arkansas to articulate and coordinate an effective estate plan. 

Some of the people who will play a significant role in your estate plan may include heirs, executors, proxies for health care decisions and witnesses among others. Selecting people to fill these roles will require you to thoroughly think through your wishes and provide the people who agree to help you with information about what is required of them. 

How should I choose a trustee?

A trust is a great estate planning tool for people in Arkansas. When creating a trust, you’ll also need to select a trustee, which is the person responsible for overseeing your estate affairs. Because being a trustee entails a lot of responsibility, AARP offers the following advice to people looking for a reliable trustee.

Consider a corporate trustee

Processing through the emotional storm of divorce

Arkansas couples who are getting a divorce will have numerous unique hurdles to face, both alone and together. Among those issues is an emotional journey fraught with stress, anger, anxiety, guilt, and a storm of other negative emotions. The intensity of these feelings is one of the reasons why it's important to have a method of coping.

Psychology Today has an article chronicling the personal journey of one person through divorce, and the steps taken to combat the overwhelming negative emotions associated with it. Among the tips include things like the allowance for time to simply feel, experience, and process all of those emotions. Looking forward toward the future without a lens of anxiety is another suggestion. It's suggested that a balance is struck between allowing negativity to run its course and not getting bogged down by it.

Can you file for retroactive child support in Arkansas?

Arkansas courts award child support as a means of protecting a child of divorce from the financial impact of his or her parent's separation. The custodial parent or guardian is to use the money to pay for a child's most basic necessities, such as food, shelter and education, as well as additional luxuries that the child enjoyed during the marriage. When one party fails to fulfill his or her child support obligation, either an adult child or the parent of a minor child may file for retroactive child support.

According to FindLaw, you may file a petition against the noncustodial parent or a parent for child support arrearages if you are a parent who has physical custody of a minor child, are a person or agency whom has obtained physical custody of a minor child, are a minor child whose parents have relinquished you or are with the Office of Child Support Enforcement. You may also file a petition for child support arrearages if you are an adult child to whom child support was owed during your minority.

Who needs an estate plan?

While there are many people in Arkansas who have an estate plan, there are just as many, if not more who do not. You may wonder if you should have one. There is no hard rule about who should and who should not. It is common to wrongfully believe that you only need one if you have a high value of assets. In fact, there are many cases where you might need an estate plan even if you do not have many assets at all.

According to Fidelity, estate planning is really about looking out for your heirs after you die. While you certainly should have one if you have a complicated estate or you have high-value assets, it is also good to have one if you have many assets, even if the value of them is not high. This can help to stop confusing or arguing over your assets after your death.

What should I do now that I pay child support?

With your Arkansas divorce complete and your child support schedule finalized, you may feel anxious about your future. If you should lose your job for any reason or encounter financial difficulty, you might miss a payment or two, which could cause your ex-spouse to go to court to have your wages confiscated to make the payments. If you ever need to renegotiate your child support, Fatherly offers you a tip that may offer you some assistance.

In the event you run into financial trouble and cannot pay child support at the level your divorce agreement stipulates, you can try to negotiate the amount down in court. What you want to do is make sure you demonstrate to the court that you have been paying expenses for your child all along. You do not want to leave your former spouse with an opening to say that you have been spending money on other pursuits.

What are spite fences?

Generally, many homeowners in northwest Arkansas are not going to experience serious acrimony with their neighbors. Sometimes, however, two neighbors may come into heated conflict with each other. One of the property owners may even decide to inconvenience or annoy his fellow Arkansan by setting up a structure known as a “spite fence.”

A spite fence, as defined by FindLaw, is a structure that is considered to be of no benefit to either the land owner who erects it or the individual who occupies the land where the fence is constructed. The fence is put up entirely to annoy whoever owns or occupies a nearby property. The fence may be purposely built to look unsightly. It can also be erected to such a height that it blocks out sunlight or other light sources from entering the neighbor’s yard.

How can I prevent conflict between my heirs?

If you’re creating an estate plan in Arkansas, you may be concerned about conflicts arising after you’re gone. Unfortunately, many families struggle with the final decisions of the deceased when it comes to assets and properties, and this can lead to a contested estate plan and the formation of lifelong rifts between your loved ones. While you can’t always prevent conflicts from occurring, Kiplinger offers the following advice so you might decrease the risk.

Communicate with your family

How to enforce child support payments that are delinquent

Child support payment agreements are an important and vital piece to raising children. When one parent refuses to follow the agreement and does not make payments, it will be up to the other parent to put strategies in place for enforcement.

Regardless if your ex-spouse has moved out of state or is just refusing to make payments, there are legal procedures in place to get the payments made.

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Gramling Estes Law Firm

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One East Center #140
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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