Find a Law Firm:

Fayetteville, Arkansas Estate Planning Attorney

Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA

2766 Millennium Drive
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703

Phone(479) 443-0062
Fax (479) 443-2001

Law Firm Overview

Our firm is dedicated to providing you with quality estate planning resources, so you can become familiar with all of the existing options. When you visit or call our office, we want you to feel comfortable discussing such an important issue concerning both you and your family.



Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA

 Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning Should be Avoided for 3 Reasons

Don’t fall victim to the concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning. Sure, the idea of saving money that would be spent having an attorney draft your estate plan is alluring, but is it worth it?

Read Article

 For the First Time the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Works to Provide Eldercare Statistics

In 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics procured information about eldercare providers in the United States, and produced the results in its 2011 American Time Use Survey (ATUS).

Read Article

 Understanding the Probate Notice to File a Claim

The reality of the world of estate planning is that it is filled with legal terms of art; in fact, of all the legal fields, this one seems to clutch its traditions tighter than most.

Read Article

 Deceased Family Members, Debts, and Creditors: 3 Common Questions

Question 1: What happens to a deceased person’s debts? There are several possibilities. Once a person dies someone will have to manage the property left behind.

Read Article

 Give Yourself an Easier Time of Making a Will

Beginning the estate planning process can be a task that seems overwhelming. If you’re having trouble getting started, one of the easiest ways to begin is to collect some simple information you will need to write a will.

Read Article

 Changing Testamentary Trust Terms

Changing the terms of a testamentary trust may not be as easy as you think. You see, a testamentary trust is a trust that is created in your last will and testament (thus, the origin of its name), and does not take effect until you die.

Read Article

 Estate Plan Considerations for Those Who Are Expecting

Pregnancy is one of those significant life events that cause us to make a great many changes in our lives. One thing to which being pregnant should give rise, is considerations about your estate plan. Perhaps you do not yet have an estate plan in place. Perhaps you need to make some adjustments to your existing plan, in light of the pregnancy.

Read Article

 Protecting Your Assets from Expanding Nursing Home Costs

Nursing home costs are rising, which could be detrimental to your financial health should you find yourself in need of nursing home care, or even that of an assisted living community. In fact, the average annual cost for a nursing home is running around $75,000 per person. Having insurance won’t be much of a help since most insurance plans do not cover the costs associated with a nursing home.

Read Article

 Estate Planning and Former Spouse Beneficiaries

The process of divorce is extremely emotional and stressful for people, so, as a result, it is quite easy to overlook important details. One such important detail to remember after receiving a divorce is to check the beneficiaries listed on any life insurance policies, wills, trusts, IRAs, 401(k)’s and other employer-provided plans or similar documents.

Read Article

 3 Tips for Vacation Planning and Your Estate Plan

The average American probably spends a lot more time planning for a vacation than they do planning their estate. If you haven't already done so, vacation planning can provide you a good reason to begin your estate planning efforts. All you have to do is think about what might happen to you and your family if an emergency should arise while you are on vacation.

Read Article

 Co-Ownership of Property and Avoiding Probate – 3 Questions

Question 1: Are There Different Types Of Co-Ownership of Property? Yes, and not all types of property co-ownership avoid probate. The different ownership types include tenancy in common, joint tenancy with right of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety.

Read Article

 Kinkade Estate Battle Could Last a Year or More

A lawyer involved in the Thomas Kinkade estate battle has said that the case could drag on for a year, and possibly more, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News. The attorney ,Douglas Dal Ceilo, says that it could be a year or more before the California probate court hears oral arguments on whether the handwritten notes purported to be Mr. Kinkade's constitute a valid last will and testament under California law.

Read Article

 The (Almost) Secret Veteran's Pension: Aid and Assistance

The Veterans Administration estimates that about 2 million eligible veterans likely qualify for the Aid and Attendance pension benefit, yet few of them take advantage of it. The VA also estimates that about $22 billion per year in AA benefits remain unspent because so few people take advantage of the program. Let's take a look at what the Aid and Attendance pension is and who qualifies.

Read Article

 What to Do if Your Dad is Pursued by a Gold Digger

Having an elderly parent can cause any child to worry, especially where there are health concerns involved. But what do you do if your elderly father enters into a romantic relationship with a much younger person, such as an in-home caregiver, whom you suspect is only in it for the money? Dealing with a “gold digger” is one of the more difficult problems that confronts children with elderly parents.

Read Article

 Your Parents May Favor a Charity Over You

Thinking about an inheritance you might receive is an exercise that's filled with competing emotions. While you never want to think ill of your parents or grandparents, knowing that you stand to inherit significant money or property can make life much easier, especially if money is tight

Read Article

 3 Financial Questions about Life-Threatening Illnesses

An article in Forbes recently highlighted some of the important financial issues that those who have been diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening condition should consider. Though financial questions may be the last thing you want to think of if you are facing this situation, ignoring these issues won't make them go away. If you face them now, your family and loved ones may have an easier time of it later on.

Read Article

 Seniors Have Increasing Amount of Debt

While many Americans have been hit hard by the recession, baby boomers and elderly Americans are increasingly more in debt than they have been for decades. A report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that 81.7 percent of Americans aged 55 to 64 have both household and consumer debt. This represents an increase of almost 10 percent between 1992 and 2007.

Read Article

 Medicaid Planning and Filial Responsibility Laws

While planning for retirement, many people focus on the money they'll need to support themselves and their family after they stop working. What few people plan for is the possibility that they will have to pay for their elderly parent's nursing home expenses. Though not widely reported, about 30 states have laws that allow nursing homes and other extended care facilities to pursue the adult children of someone staying in the care facility.

Read Article

 Medicaid Grows as Possible Healthcare Option in Estate Planning

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights how Medicaid, especially after the passing of the Affordable Care Act is changing the way many Americans look at healthcare and retirement planning. Though originally enacted as a plan to provide health insurance to the needy, Medicaid is becoming more widely available to those who previously had been ineligible.

Read Article

 Medicaid Costs Leading to Decreased Coverage

Though the recession officially ended in 2009, states are still struggling to cope with the massive increase in Medicaid expenses associated with the recent economic downturn. Between 2007 and 2009, Medicaid expenses rose by an average of 6.6 percent per year, according to a new study from the Kaiser Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

Read Article

 Early Warning Signs for Arthritis

One out of every five adults, or about 50 million Americans, have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Though many of these people are elderly, about half of all arthritis sufferers are under the age of 65. If you begin noticing any of the typical warning signs associated with arthritis, you should speak to your doctor so you can start a treatment regimen. Early detection is always better than catching it too late.

Read Article

 Family Line Protection

Estate planning affords you a myriad of choices and opportunities. This includes the opportunity to protect your assets so they stay in your family line. Here’s how your family can benefit from your estate planning.

Read Article

 Blended Families

Estate planning for blended families adds a layer of complexity. Each estate plan will differ based upon personal and financial goals as well as the age of and relationship with the children involved. Below are some issues to consider during the process of estate planning for blended families.

Read Article

 Benefits of a Life Insurance Trust

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a Trust used to hold your life insurance policy. Upon your death, your life insurance policy can pay into this Trust instead of directly to a beneficiary. Your ILIT Trustee will then use your Trust to pass funds out to your loved ones for a pre-determined amount of time. You must take special consideration when placing a life insurance policy into an Irrevocable Trust.

Read Article

 It Could Happen to You, Every Parent’s Nightmare

If you are the parent of young children, the last thing you want to think about is what would happen to your child if you were not there to raise them. You may in fact be thinking that it would never happen to you. Unfortunately, it happens frequently and your failure to plan could have results you never intended.

Read Article

 Probate Laws and Your Estate

Estate planning is sometimes an uncomfortable topic of conversation when one is referring to probate law, and when speaking about probate at all you begin to refer to the estates of either those who are recently deceased or those who are unable to handle their own assets while still yet considered living.

Read Article

 Long Term Care: Home Based and Community Services

Most people when they think of long-term care think of care in a nursing home. The majority of people only enter a nursing home when their needs can no longer be met outside of a treatment facility. Home based and community services are a range of services that allow people to remain in their homes and retain their independence for as long as possible.

Read Article

 Issues in Social Security – Proof of Marriage

India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death. When she turned 62 she applied for widows benefits. Social Security requires as part of the application for Widows benefits that she show proof of marriage. India could not find her marriage certificate. She requested a copy from the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where she and Vance were married and was told they had no record of her marriage. What does she do now?

Read Article

 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

When you are planning your estate it is important to address all of the matters that are relevant to people who are entering their twilight years. While it is true that the financial aspects of estate planning are important, the health care component is key as well, and since people here in American are living longer than ever it is logical to be prepared to live into our late eighties and beyond.

Read Article

 Divorce and Naming a Guardian for Your Children

It really doesn’t matter if you are divorced or married, naming someone to act as the guardian for your children is probably the most important part of your estate plan. People that are divorced naturally assume that the other parent will automatically get custody of the children if something should happen to them. This is true in most cases, but there are some situations to where it would be helpful if you have named a guardian for your children.

Read Article

 May I Create a Joint Medical and Financial POA

During incapacity planning you may use a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Durable Financial Power of Attorney to handle your personal and financial matters in the event that you become disabled. Through each of these documents, you may name an agent to make decisions for you. So, wouldn’t it be simpler to make just one document for both purposes? It might seem so, but really it is best to state these needs in separate documents.

Read Article

 What Can your Durable POA for Health Care Do?

A Medical Power of Attorney (POA) or Durable POA for Health Care is a legal document that allows you to provide a plan for your medical care when you can no longer manage decisions on your own. The basic purpose of a health care POA is to name a health care agent and list his or her duties.

Read Article

 Educational Giving

Acts of generosity are beautiful things for the most part, but there is a reason to proceed with caution when you are planning your estate for the good of your loved ones. In some cases, a gift or inheritance can be detrimental, causing more problems than providing benefits to your loved ones.

Read Article

 Settling an Intestate Estate

When an estate has a Last Will and Testament or a Revocable Living Trust, that document will determine which heirs inherit which assets. If there is no Will or Living Trust, an estate is considered intestate. In this case, state laws will decide the rightful heirs.

Read Article

 Have You Saved Enough for Retirement?

You should be saving funds for your retirement each month. To determine how much to set-aside from your paycheck, calculate the total amount you will need for your later years. You can do so by estimating about 60 to 80% of your current income. This rough figure may not, however, take into account your true retirement expenses.

Read Article

 What’s the Deal with Estate Taxes?

Estate taxes are federal taxes placed upon any estate above a certain net worth. The net worth of an estate is the value of all property and financial assets minus the total of debts that are owed.

Read Article

 Keep an Eye Out for these Alzheimer's Warning Signs

The chance that a person will develop Alzheimer's disease increases significantly after the age of 65. Almost one out of every eight people will develop Alzheimer's disease. Though there is currently no treatment for this condition, you can look out for the common warning signs associated with Alzheimer’s. The following are a few examples:

Read Article

 Why Parents with Young Children Need an Estate Plan Immediately

Reason 1: Your children will need a guardian if you should die. Becoming a parent changes you, especially when you realize that your children are entirely dependent on you. With this realization also comes the knowledge that if you and the other parent should die, your children will have to be cared for by someone else. But who will take on this role?

Read Article

 3 Questions about Beginning a Probate Case

The probate process governs what happens to all the property a person owned after that person dies. Each county usually has a probate court that is set up to deal with these property questions. Though each state and even each county, has a slightly different procedure for probate cases, all of them require the same basic process. To begin, someone has to go before the court and file a petition.

Read Article

 Estate Planning for Pets – Questions about Pet Trusts

A pet trust is a legal entity you create by creating a document that includes specific and legally required terms. If you use your Will to establish the trust, it will be created after you die, though you can also create a trust outside of a Will that becomes effective immediately. Once created, the trust owns property and uses it for the benefit of your pets.

Read Article

 Avoiding Awkward Family Money Situations: 3 Tips

If you have spent your life providing for your family and making sure they are well cared for, the thought of having to ask your family for a loan can be incredibly difficult to bear. Surveys have shown that people fear becoming a financial burden far more than they do dying, at a rate of more than 5 to 1.

Read Article

 Choosing a Digital Tombstone: 3 Tips

With all the tools that online life allows us, more companies are offering “Digital Tombstones” that offer the promise to keep your legacy online. Here are some tips you should consider if you want to use one of these services.

Read Article

 Your Final Rest – A Decision with New Options

Though it may not be the most pleasant topic to bring up in casual conversation, we all will face the eventuality of a final resting place. In the past, there were few options available to us when considering our final resting place, but today there are many more from which to choose. Here are a few of the more unique options you have when it comes to burial.

Read Article

 Retiree Wisdom – Advice for Doing it Differently

A recent article discussed retirees and some common regrets they share. Though their answers are often not surprising they can be helpful if you are developing your estate plan and are trying to develop long-term goals for yourself. Much of their advice is aimed at pre-retirement-aged people, although anyone can use it as the basis for making both long-term and immediate plans.

Read Article

 Gina Reinhart – The Richest Australian Decides To Disinherit

You may have recently heard the news out of Australia about the nation's richest woman, Gina Reinhart and her legal fight with her children over her decision to disinherit them from the family fortune. Ms. Reinhart is the heir to her father's iron ore business estimated to be worth about $18 billion.

Read Article

 3 Questions about Estate Planning and Prenuptial Agreements

Answer: Though prenuptial agreements are available to any couple, those entering into a second marriage or who already have children, stand to benefit the most by making sure a good prenup is part of their estate plan. Once you get married in Arkansas, you are automatically entitled to a portion of your spouse's estate when he or she dies.

Read Article

 Real Estate Transfers to Heirs: 4 Options

If you’re creating an estate plan and want to leave your home to your family, there are a wide variety of options that allow you to do this. Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, and each state may have different laws that impact the transfers. Always talk to your estate planning attorney for detailed advice before you decide on any particular method.

Read Article

 Anti-Lapse Laws

When a beneficiary who stands to receive a gift under a Will dies before the testator dies, the gift has no one to go to. This is called lapse. When this happens, that gift passes according either to the terms of the Will or to your state's intestacy laws and not to the deceased beneficiary's descendants.

Read Article

 Trust Administration FAQ

Whenever someone establishes or creates a Trust, the Trust property must be managed and looked after through a process known as Trust Administration. Depending on the kind of Trust involved, Trust Administration can be fairly simple or extremely complicated.

Read Article

 Death and Taxes

The “death tax” is a euphemism for the estate tax. Estate tax is imposed "on the transfer of the taxable estate of every decedent who is a citizen or resident of the United States.

Read Article

 What is Elder Law?

Elder Law is a term that has been coined to encompass the body of law regarding the aging population. It is an area of law that has seen significant growth as the baby boomer generation ages.

Read Article

 Estate Administration

If you’re like most people, you’ve heard of the term, “probate.” Essentially, the term “probate” and “estate administration are used interchangeably and refer to the winding down of a person’s financial life after death. Technically, the term, “probate,» refers to court validation of your will.

Read Article

 Arkansas Pet Trusts What the Law Says

Arkansas enacted its Pet Trust Law in 2005. Since then, pet owners have been able to create a Trust to ensure that their pets are properly cared for after the pet owners die. Though you should talk to a qualified estate planning attorney if you want assistance creating a Pet Trust or have specific questions, let’s take a moment to look at what the Arkansas statute states.

Read Article

 How to Limit Anxieties about an Upcoming Nursing Home Move

If it’s time for a loved one to move to a nursing home, it is likely that your entire family is upset about the situation. This is because living in a nursing home is a big change. Luckily, there are steps that you can take that will make the move easier. Take a look at the following information to learn more. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss nursing home options, contact an estate planning attorney.

Read Article

 Dying Without a Will in Arkansas 4 Scenarios

Even if you don't have a lot of property, you can benefit by creating an estate plan that chooses how your property passes after you die. If you don't set your choices out in a legally recognized manner, Arkansas state law makes the decision for you through its laws of intestate succession. These laws are quite complicated and can lead to a number of different scenarios, so you should talk to a qualified estate planning attorney for specific advice about what might happen to your estate.

Read Article

 Arkansas Advance Directive

A properly drafted medical power of attorney in Arkansas, sometimes known as a durable power of attorney, is an essential part of a good estate plan. State laws have very specific rules when it comes to making these advance medical directives, and you must follow these requirements to ensure your power of attorney is legal.

Read Article

 Estate Pet Care – 3 Basic Concepts

For many of us, the idea of leaving our pets without adequate care after we die is not an option. While you know how much you love your pet, the law doesn't recognize the right for an animal to own property, which means you cannot leave your property to your pet after you die.

Read Article

 I Have an Addicted Son; Should I Disinherit Him?

Sadly, many Americans have trouble with drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions However, if you have an addicted child, you don’t have to disinherit him. In most cases, disinheritance causes great emotional trauma as inheritances represent the love of a parent for a child (whether we want to admit it or not.)

Read Article

 Can I Change My Trust?

One of the common goals of estate planning is staying in control; often, clients want to know if they can change their trust. The main rule is: If the trust is revocable, the trust can be changed; if the trust is irrevocable, the trust can’t be changed. There are exceptions.

Read Article

 When You Should Start Estate Planning

Though many people don't start thinking about estate planning until later in life, there is no single best time when you should begin to plan on structuring your estate. The truth is that everyone can begin at least some part of estate planning immediately. Whether you're single, recently married, a parent or anyone else, you can get a leg up on your future by tackling estate planning issues now.

Read Article

 Without a Will

Some people never get around to planning their estate or creating a will. In this situation, there is no will to determine how affairs are to be handled and how assets are to be distributed.

Read Article

 Baby Boomers Becoming Caretakers

A recent survey reported by the newspaper USA Today had some surprising findings for the growing group of Baby Boomers that are anticipating caring for their aging parents - only half could name any medications their parents take.

Read Article

 The Most Important Key to an Estate Plan That Works

Most people sign their estate planning documents, breathe a sigh of relief, pat themselves on the back for completing the task, and don’t think about their estate plan again.

Read Article

 What is a Codicil?

A “codicil” is an amendment to a will; it’s an addition or change. Codicils were commonly used before the computer age when wills were written by hand or typed on a type-writer.

Read Article

 Baby Boomers Becoming Caretakers

A recent survey reported by the newspaper USA Today had some surprising findings for the growing group of baby boomers that are anticipating caring for their aging parents - only half can name any medications their parents take.

Read Article

 18 Questions to Ask During the Estate Planning Process

Rest assured that your estate planning attorney expects you to ask questions. It’s completely normal to ask the same question more than once.

Read Article

 Not Eligible for Veteran Aid and Assistance? You May Have another Option

If you’re a veteran in need of extra care and assistance, you may have looked into qualifying for aid and assistance benefits.

Read Article

 Can I Do Estate Planning on a Budget?

More people are looking for new ways to save and this often leaves many people looking for low-cost estate planning options.

Read Article

 Do you Need a Family Limited Partnership in Your Estate Plan?

If you have a family business that you would like to pass down to the next generation, a Family Limited Partnership may be an estate planning tool to consider.

Read Article

 New Tax Law

When a person dies, federal estate tax may be due. These are taxes that are due when the assets are passed to another person. Most people refer to this tax as the “death tax.” You may be aware that there are new laws regarding this tax. It is important to stay on top of the new tax law so that you know how you may be affected. Will you have to pay estate taxes?

Read Article

 Your Estate Planning: Hire a Professional!

Estate planning is an essential part of life. With proper planning, you can make sure that important future decisions are made.

Read Article

 Talk to Your Family about Your Estate Plan

If you have begun your estate planning, you are taking an important step in planning for your future. It is important to discuss your estate planning with your family. This will not only let them know that you have taken care of this responsibility but it will also be a great way to communicate your wishes and talk about your desires for the future.

Read Article

 Arkansas Intestacy Laws

If you don’t have a will, the state of Arkansas has one for you. Here is what happens to your assets under Arkansas intestacy laws.

Read Article

 The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is typically used to get the value and proceeds of an insurance policy out of an estate so they’re not taxed for federal estate tax purposes. The use of ILITs is not complicated, but there are some administrative hoops to jump through. Your estate planning attorney can do much of the jumping through hoops on your behalf.

Read Article

 Estate Planning for the Business Owner

Estate planning is extremely important for business owners who want their business to continue operations after their death.

Read Article

 Who Needs a Health Care Directive?

A Health Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to state your medical wishes in the event that you become mentally incapacitated.

Read Article

 Estate Planning Checklist

It’s not only important to do your estate planning, but to also make sure that you keep up with your planning.

Read Article








Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA Office Location