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    An initial consultation, up to one hour, is FREE for general estate planning, estate administration, probate, GUARDIANSHIP or a family law matter if you bring your completed Questionnaire with attachments and all decision-makers attend; otherwise, we charge by the hour.  An initial consultation for long term care planning with Medicaid &/or VA Pension costs $500.  We charge by the hour, in one-tenth of an hour (6 minute) increments, for all time spent on real estate, corporate and other business matters, or for any advice outside the initial consultation when you have not engaged us under a flat fee agreement.  Any quote we give you for a flat fee is binding if we receive all requested information and are engaged to commence work within 30 days.  We accept Visa and MasterCard but assess a 2% surcharge when doing so.  Please come to any initial consultation prepared to pay the initial consultation charge (for Medicaid/VA, real estate, etc.), and/or one-half of any flat fee, or a retainer for hourly work.

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Ball Corley PLLC

The attorneys of Ball Corley PLLC proudly serve the entire State of Arkansas with respect to:  Estate Planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, HIPAA authorizations, living wills and visitation directives); Elder Law (Medicaid, veterans administration pension and long term care planning); Probate; Trust and Estate Administration; Guardianships; Family Law (adoptions, separation and divorce, child custody and visitation, support obligations, post-decree modifications and paternity); Premarital Agreements; LGBT Laws; and Real Estate Transactions. We can also assist you if you wish to participate in Collaborative Law or Mediation.

Our Practice Areas

Estate Planning
Fundamentals

A thorough estate plan covers nearly every aspect of life. It begins with protecting you and your personal dignity, including expressing your desires regarding your health care, living environment, life-sustaining treatments and the disposition of your final remains.ᅠ And it extends to protecting your loved ones and your hard-earned assets, and determining when and to whom your assets are to be distributed. If you do not create your own estate plan you will essentially adopt the estate plan set forth in Arkansas statutes – but it is rarely what you would want.

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Probate & Estate Administration

Soon after a person dies, it is necessary to probate the deceased person’s Will or administer the estate in order to transfer good title to his or her assets.ᅠTo do this, a friend or family member files a petition with a court to have a Personal Representative appointed and Letters Testamentary issued. Notices must be given and published, an inventory of assets prepared, and appraisals or valuations obtained. Many formalities must be observed. Even if probate is avoided by ownership of assets as a joint tenant with right of survivorship, probate will be required at the death of the last owner.

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Elder Law & Long Term
Care Planning

Our clients routinely tell us that they do not want to be a financial burden to their adult children. But with more than two thirds of seniors expected to need long term care at some point in their lives – and Arkansas nursing home costs exceeding $5,000 a month – actually achieving this goal often requires advance planning.ᅠBoth Medicaid and the Veterans Administration Pension (tax-free income available to a veteran or surviving spouse) can help with these expenses.ᅠLet us explain your options and the planning strategies available, whether in advance of the need for care or in a crisis.

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Guardianship

If a physical or mental condition renders someone unable to care for himself or handle his own financial affairs (and he failed to sign a power of attorney while mentally competent), a family member or close friend will need to gain legal control over the incapacitated person and/or his assets. This requires filing a petition for guardianship, giving notice to certain parties, and proving that the guardianship is needed – often at a hearing. A court will then appoint a guardian of the person and/or the estate; a bond may be required. A guardian may also be necessary if a minor child is left without a suitable parent.

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Family Law

The practice of family law concerns the interpretation, application and enforcement of laws that regulate family relationships. This includes the laws that govern marriage (premarital or post-marital agreements, separation or divorce, spousal support, or the modification or enforcement of divorce decrees and related orders) and the laws that govern children and the parent-child relationship (adoption, child custody and visitation, child support and paternity). We would be pleased to meet with you and explain your rights and obligations to see if we can help.

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Collaborative Law & Mediation

Mediation and collaborative law are dispute resolution processes that can avoid or simplify litigation while reaching a faster, less expensive and more amicable solution.

  • With mediation, a neutral third party works with the disputing parties to resolve their issues. Mediation can occur before or after litigation has commenced and it can be voluntary or court ordered.
  • Collaborative law is primarily used in divorce and custody actions and is undertaken before litigation commences.

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LGBT Laws

Laws regarding same-sex marriage have changed rapidly but some of those changes opened a Pandora’s box of legal issues surrounding previous civil unions and domestic partnerships.ᅠAnd discrimination on the basis of one’s LGBT status is still permitted in Arkansas in many areas, including housing and service in places of public accommodation.ᅠUntil those laws change, at least be sure that your loved ones can visit you in the hospital and make health care decisions for you.ᅠ And protect your parental rights through adoption or guardianship.

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Estate Tax Planning

One who dies in 2015 has a federal estate tax exemption of $5.43 million; he also has a $5.43 million lifetime gift tax exemption. But such lifetime gifts count against the estate tax exemption. The end result is that you may give away up to $5.43 million during your lifetime or after your death without incurring any gift or estate tax. In addition, you may give any individuals up to $14,000 each calendar year and such gifts will not count against your lifetime gift tax exemption. If proper steps are taken, each of these amounts doubles for a married couple even if all of the money comes from one spouse.

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Real Estate Transactions

Much attention to detail is required to close a real estate transaction smoothly and on time. The terms of a signed contract should govern the rights of buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, landlords and tenants. By engaging an experienced real estate attorney, you can have more confidence that your transaction will give you the benefits you seek with fewer surprises and less stress. We will create a subdivision or condominium regime, draft or review loan documents, and review title insurance and survey, and otherwise protect your interests with respect to real property.

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We would consider it a privilege to assist you.

At Ball Corley PLLC, we enjoy meeting and assisting individuals and families. We see people at their happiest – just before or soon after a marriage, birth or adoption when clients wisely attend to estate planning needs. And we see them at their saddest – soon after the death of a loved one or a divorce, or when adult children must face the fact that elderly parents require a guardian to protect them or must move to a nursing facility to meet their healthcare needs. We can assist you with a premarital agreement, guardianship, adoption, divorce, custody or visitation issue or other family law matter in addition to helping you with an estate plan.  We offer a casual and friendly atmosphere and personal service. Our goal is to walk with you through whatever challenge is facing you without intimidation or pressure.

 

OUR PROCESS

Once you contact us you want your legal needs handled promptly. We understand that. That is why we try to offer appointments in the same week you call and then start work quickly after our initial meeting. As a general rule, no more than a few weeks will pass between your initial consultation and the date you return to sign estate planning, premarital or elder law documents and your matter is concluded. And we will make house calls or work on an expedited schedule when necessary.

Probate laws require that certain notices be given, after which creditors and heirs have a stated period of time in which to file a claim. Similarly, laws that govern adoption, divorce, custody, visitation, support, guardianship and other family law matters require certain notice periods and hearings.  The time delays caused by such laws are beyond our control. But we will take timely actions so that any probate, estate administration or family law matter is handled as efficiently and quickly as possible, and we will keep you informed along the way.

 

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Thank you for visiting our website.

The attorneys of Ball Corley PLLC proudly serve the entire State of Arkansas with respect to:  Estate Planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, HIPAA authorizations, living wills and visitation directives); Elder Law (Medicaid, veterans administration pension and long term care planning); Probate; Trust and Estate Administration; Guardianships; Family Law (adoption, divorce and separation, child custody and visitation, support obligations, post-decree modification and paternity); Premarital Agreements; Collaborative Law; Mediation; LGBT Laws; and Real Estate Transactions.

Notice and Disclaimer: This Ball Corley PLLC website is intended only to give general information which we believe may be helpful; it is not intended to be advertising or a solicitation, or to provide legal advice. If our website includes any links to other sites they are for information only and should not be interpreted as an endorsement. Although we try to keep the information on our website current it may not always reflect the latest laws, decisions or dollar amounts. And, the general rules provided may not apply to your specific situation; for every general rule there are multiple exceptions to that rule. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you consult with us or another qualified licensed attorney rather than taking any action in reliance on any information contained in this website. Neither your visit to our website, nor your phone call or email to our office, will create an attorney-client relationship with Ball Corley PLLC or its attorneys; such a relationship can be established only by our written agreement to represent you.

If you contact us via phone or email, please do not disclose any information which you deem to be confidential. Only after we have agreed to represent you are we governed by Rule 1.6 of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct regarding Confidentiality of Information. That Rule requires that we hold in strict confidence any and all confidential information revealed to us by our clients, subject only to certain narrow exceptions (such as to confer with your CPA, investment advisor or another professional). We are also bound by Rule 1.18 and other Rules of Professional Conduct.

You may print or reproduce materials found on this website in their entirety, without any modification, for your personal and/or educational use only if you include this Notice and Disclaimer in such reproduction.

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