Last will and testament

Probate

Probate is the legal process of administering the assets and property of a recently deceased person. The probate will resolve all claims against the property and determine the distribution of the deceased's wealth and belongings.

Adoption

The Arkansas adoption process is multifaceted, depending on circumstances. Nothing is more precious than a child and adoption by definition demands adherence to the various requirements, restrictions, statutes, rules, and regulations that the State of Arkansas has enacted to defend and ensure the welfare and safety of the children. Arkansas Courts scrutinize adult adoptions for the protection, benefit, and security of the adoptee; as with minor adoptions the court’s primary interest is the welfare and protecting the best interest of the child.

Smiling couple with baby

Grandparent and Great Grandparent Visitation

Grandparents’ rights to visit and have relationships with their grandchildren exist within the state’s parameters fueled by “…best interest of the child” standard. Grandparents by definition provide unconditional love, affection and guidance. Grandparents’ rights are sometimes difficult to establish depending on circumstances, age of the children, and existing or prior relationship with the grandchildren. Leigh Law utilizes grandparents’ summary of events to meet the Court’s high burden showing that a continued relationship with the Grandparents is in the best interest of the children.

Leigh Law strives to humanize familial bonds and links common goals and interest to provide a foundation and ancestral roots every child needs to become a healthy adult.

Step-Parent Adoption

No love is greater than a step-parents’ commitment, request, and desire to be the “Mom or Dad.” Leigh Law understands the bonds created by affection, devotion, protection and embodies these feelings and concerns in intellectually grounded Petitions to a Court of Law. Leigh Law excels at tailoring complaints to showcase that cementing the loving step-parent relationship is in the best interest of the child. If you want to accomplish a step-parent adoption, let Leigh Law’s experience and guidance Roar to your Rescue.

Guardianships of Person and or Estate

A Guardianship bestows serious fiduciary responsibilities on a Guardian. Guardianships are voluntary or involuntary. Guardianships give the Guardian control over another person’s property or the physical person. Guardianships are granted for incapacitated adults and minors.

If involuntary the Ward must be incapacitated in a recognized or diagnosed capacity — Leigh Law recognizes the many types of incapacitations to showcase the need or needs to a Court of Law. Incapacitations include, but are not limited to, a mental or physical illness, mentally challenged, a chronic user of drugs or alcohol, or any condition that makes the Ward unable to manage their health, safety, or financial matters.

Some Guardianship require security bonds and some do not. Leigh Law is knowledgeable of Arkansas statutes concerning involuntary and voluntary Guardianships.

Contesting a Will or Guardianship or Trust

How wealth is distributed through a will or trust often elicits disappointments, bewilderment, anger, disbelief, sadness, and usually many unanswered questions. Weighing many factors such as the covenants of the original will or trust and the severity of the modifications, health and age of the decedent at death, relationship with heirs, value of will or trust, familial relationships, and the proposed resistance, Leigh Law will advise on the possible conclusions and whether it is economically beneficial to contest a will or a trust.

Broadly speaking Arkansas statutes require that the alterations were made due to undue influence; this is relatively easy to prove under specific and certain circumstances. Fraud; again, relatively easy to prove under specific and certain circumstances. Improper execution; if the will or trust was not prepared or executed properly under Arkansas statutes it could be thrown out in court. Lack of capacity; If the will or trust maker was not mentally capable of thinking out the issues involved in a will or trust at the time the will or trust was created, the document could be invalid.

Elder Abuse

What is elder abuse under Arkansas statutes? Elder abuse is not always open and notorious; elder abuse is often subtle, isolated and discrete. Elder abuse is often emotional as well as financial. Leigh Law will prod, poke, investigate and aggressively pursue all allegations of elder abuse both civilly and criminally.

Removal of a Trustee

Every trustee and every beneficiary of a trust should be aware of the Trustee’s legal, fiduciary, and moral responsibilities and the legal repercussions of violating those responsibilities. In a nutshell a Trustee must be honest, capable of following the precepts of the trust and actually follows the instructions as described in the trust. If a Trustee breaches his or her responsibilities under the Arkansas Trust Code the court may order the trustee to perform as described in the trust, stop the trustee from committing a breach of trust, compel the trustee to redress a breach of trust by paying money, restoring property, or other means, order a certified accounting of the trust funds and or assets, appoint a special fiduciary to manage the Trust, suspend the trustee, remove the trustee, reduce or deny compensation to the Trustee, void an act of the Trustee, impose a lien or a constructive trust on property, or trace trust property wrongfully disposed of and recover the property or its proceeds, or proceed with any other action the Court deems fair and appropriate.

Arkansas courts have broad grounds to remove a Trustee. Trustees must take their responsibilities seriously and Beneficiaries of a Trust should be watchful and attentive in monitoring the conduct and actions of the Trustee to ensure that the Trustee is properly performing.

Leigh Law will not hesitate to ask the Court to remove an antagonistic, incompetent, dishonest or disinterested Trustee. It is not mandatory but better if all of the beneficiaries of the Trust agree that the Trustee should be replaced or reprimanded. Arkansas statutes require a specific process for the removal of a Trustee.

Probate Types

When a person dies and leaves behind a will, the proceedings are known as testamentary probate. If the deceased person did not take the time to prepare a will before death, the decisions are left up to the court and known as intestate proceedings.

Representative carrying out guidelines put forth in the will

Testamentary Probate

With testamentary probates, most decisions do not need to be made by the probate. In these cases a personal representative is appointed to distribute the assets and carry out the wishes of the deceased. All of the distributions carried out by the representative follow the guidelines put forth in the will.

Intestate Proceedings

When a person dies without a will, a probate court is called upon to determine the distribution of assets. This situation is handled similarly to bankruptcy by determining a hierarchy of importance and settling claims. After creditors have been satisfied, the remaining estate is typically divvied up in the following order:

  1. Spouses
  2. Children
  3. Family Members

Expertise in Title Issues

Skipping probate will lead to property title issues down the road. When a person dies, the real property they own is titled in his or her name. This is fine for short term, but one day when you or your beneficiaries decide to sell the home, the title company will require probate papers showing the transfer of ownership.

Transfer certificate of title

Protect yourself and your loved ones from future problems. Whether managing the transfer of ownership or resolving a long-standing title issue, we are here to help. Don't hesitate to give us a call.

Call us before incurring the cost of Probate

Leigh Law also helps heirs negotiate the estate of loved ones once someone has already passed away. The attorneys at Leigh Law will assist clients in doing everything possible to avoid opening probate—even when other attorneys may have advised that is one’s only option. If you’ve inherited real property or a car or RV or other titled automobile, call Leigh Law to determine your options before incurring the cost of Probate.

We can help you

If a loved one has recently passed away, Leigh Law can help you probate the estate and resolve any issues that may develop as a result of the death. Let the experience of Leigh Law work for you!

Call 501-227- ROAR
today for a consultation!