LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For the past 14 years Justin Elrod has dedicated his life to being an attorney, but about three years into his career, the type of attorney he wanted to be changed.
“Just the emotional struggle, the financial struggle that they went through just planted the seed in my mind that there’s got to be something better than that,” Elrod said about his grandparents.
After seeing their struggles toward the end of their life, he decided to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney. There are only three in Arkansas. His focus is estate planning.
“Part of estate planning is just making sure that if you get injured or sick or older that you’ve designated somebody that you want to be able to help. That’s called power of attorney,” Elrod said.
He recently released a second edition of his book called “You Need a Plan.” One of the most important things he tells his clients is to “not do nothing.”
“Planning ahead, don’t put it off, take action, talk to the right people,” Elrod said.
He also suggested you go beyond a will.
“It does not cover the things that we talk about, power of attorney. If you got sick or injured. It doesn’t avoid probate court,” Elrod said.
It’s also important to know what probate court is and how to avoid it, according to Elrod.
“All sorts of expenses that estates end up having to pay that could be avoided if you weren’t in probate court and it’s very public,” Elrod.
While estate planning sounds like something for people who have a lot of money, Elrod said that’s not the case. If you own any property, it’s especially important to have a plan in place.