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Fayetteville Law Blog

What are the duties of a guardian?

If you have been named a guardian in an estate over a minor child or adult, then it is imperative that you understand what your responsibilities are. Being a guardian is a very serious matter than requires you to do specific things. According to the Arkansas State Legislature, you can even be held personally liable if you make the wrong decisions as a guardian.

One of your duties is to file a report annually with the court. This report should provide any requested information, along with information about your ward that includes living arrangement and health status. You must also report of the status of the estate.

Can I move my whole house to a new location?

It is common for people to love a house but not really love the location of it. When this happens, you may have an option to move the house. However, moving a house in Arkansas can be a difficult process. It requires a lot of paperwork before you can actually plan the move.

According to the Washington County Courthouse, you must secure a permit from the Washington County Planning Board if you want to move your home to a new location. The board can deny you for a couple reasons. First, if moving the home will cause physical injury or damage to property. Second, if the move will violate sanitation and land use laws.

Does my child have a say in custody?

When it comes to your divorce, one of the most difficult situations you will deal with is determining eh custody of your children. Everyone will likely have an opinion and want the court to rule a specific way. This includes your child. However, the wishes of your child during a custody case may not always be considered by the court. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, Arkansas does not require the court to consider your child's wants at all when deciding custody.

There are actually only 12 states that have the requirement of considering the child's wishes. Even then, it really depends on how old the child is and the child's ability to make sure a request within reason. Maturity plays a large role in whether the court will take a child's wants into consideration.

Reviewing your estate plan can help prevent disputes

Losing a loved one is a difficult time for the family and friends grieving while also tasked with carrying out the deceased’s final wishes. This emotional, potential tense time can be fraught with challenges, particularly if an out of date estate plan adds only more confusion.

Taking the time to create a comprehensive estate plan is an important step in planning for the long-term future of your final wishes. Even once a person or couple completes an initial estate plan, the work doesn’t end there. In order to provide the most relevant, helpful information for those executing your estate, continue updating your plans throughout your life.

How can I protect my property against trespassing?

Whether you own a small property on which your home sits or you own acres of land, it is your right to prevent others from coming onto your property without permission. In fact, if someone comes onto your property without getting permission from you, it is considered trespassing. To best prevent trespassing, the Arkansas Agriculture Department recommends following the posting law to help stop trespassers.

Under the posting law, you can post signs that warn others against coming onto your land. You can do this with either a sign or paint. Paint is used by painting a vertical mark on a tree or post at the entrance to the property. The paint used should be a posting paint, which is purple and meets the specific requirements set by the law, which stipulate the contents of the paint. This paint can be found easily at many paint retailers. Signs also should go at property entrances and must state either "posted" or " no trespassing." It can also include both phrases.

Are custody and support connected?

When it comes to children in a situation where parents are not together, the topics of child support and visitation always come up in Arkansas. It is a misconception that these two things are related. The courts actually see them differently. According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, visitation and child support are two separate entities that are not related.

What this means for you is that you cannot use visitation to affect child support and vice versa. For example, you cannot deny your child's other parent visitation rights if he or she has failed to pay child support. This is a common issue with parents, but one that is not legal. If you were to do this, you could be charged with disobeying the court orders that set up visitation.

What is estate tax?

If a loved one passes away in Arkansas, you may wonder if you have to pay taxes on the estate. While there are many states that do charge various estate taxes, Arkansas is not one of them according to USA Today. In fact, you probably will not have to pay any estate taxes at all because federal taxes only kick in when the estate has a very large value, like over $5 million.

Of course, there is always a chance that your loved one may live in another state. In that case, it may be subject to estate taxes based on that state's laws. There are 14 states and Washington D.C. that charge such taxes. Again, though, the value of the estate will determine if the taxes must be paid. Usually, if the person has a small estate with few assets, there will not be any charges against it.

Do I have rights if my neighbor is hurting the sale of my home?

When someone buys a home in Arkansas, location is often a key consideration. Not only do people look at how close the neighborhood is to things like stores but also they check out the neighborhood itself, looking at the types of neighbors, how safe it is and other similar factors. Having a neighbor who does not take care of his or her property can take a toll when you are trying to sell because it sends a bad image of the neighborhood and could chase away potential buyers.

Quicken Loans explains that an unkempt neighbor could lower your home's value or keep it from selling, so you should try to take steps to remedy the situation. You can try talking with your neighbor first. Perhaps the person just cannot keep up with the maintenance needed. Perhaps he or she is elderly. If this is the case, then you could arrange to help the person get his or her property back in shape. Sometimes, though, a neighbor just does not care and will not be open to making changes.

Can I change my divorce decree?

You and your ex-spouse have gone through the entire process of getting a divorce. You split property, assets and made choices about child custody and support. You now live separate lives and follow the terms agreed upon in your divorce settlement. However, things can unexpectedly change after all is said and done.

There can be multiple reasons why a divorce settlement needs to be modified. In many cases, this can be done informally. However, informal changes may not be secure and enforceable. If you do not feel comfortable with that approach, you can change your divorce decree legally. This will ensure the changes will be recorded and followed by both parents.

Can I contest a will?

If you have had a loved one pass away and the person's estate is now in probate in Arkansas, you may have the ability to contest the will if you feel it does not reflect the true wishes of the deceased. Contesting a will is a serious matter as it is expecting the court to make a ruling that could change the apparent expressed wishes of a person. There are some guidelines for allowing a will to be contested, according to the Arkansas Circuit Courts.

First, you have to be an interested party, meaning that you benefit in some way from the estate. You must provide a written statement of the grounds for contesting the will. This means you must have a valid reason for asking the court to judge the validity of the will. Grounds could include that the person was coerced or deceived into writing the will, that the person was not in a solid state of mind when the will was drawn up or some other reason why this will is not valid.

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Gramling Estes Law Firm

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

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