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St. Louis Real Estate And Estate Planning Blog

Zoning can impact where homes are built

Choosing a community in which to build one's dream home can be an exciting step for a person as they anticipate settling down and growing roots in a new place. As they seek out the right spot to construct their new residence they may find different locations that seem to possess different characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. This is because in Missouri and other locations throughout the nation many communities use zoning to dictate where certain types of structures may be located.

In essence, zoning attempts to group together buildings that have similar uses and purposes. That is why St. Louis residents may see many manufacturing businesses near each other without private homes mixed into the spaces in between. It is why they may see agricultural entities all near each other and outside of the business districts of their cities, and why restaurants, shops, and bars may all be constructed in proximity to each other due to their similar hours of operation and clienteles.

4 ways to keep the peace when writing a will

Occasional fighting in a relationship is normal. Families, large and small, run into such conflicts. Money is often the root cause of disputes. It’s easy to see why dealing with inheritances and estate plans get complicated. To decrease the chances of a family feud, there are some steps you can take to ensure your will addresses common issues.

Who may challenge a will in probate?

One of the main reasons that it can benefit Missouri residents to work with knowledgeable estate planning attorneys to create their wills and other testamentary documents is that such experts can help their clients create estate plans that stand up to challenges. An estate that is challenged during probate can be stuck in the process for years, creating more problems and costing more money to work through and ultimately resolve. Not everyone has the power to challenge every estate, and this post will explore what parties may have standing to challenge probated estates.

In general, a person who is an heir to a decedent or to whom the decedent owed money (a creditor) may have standing to challenge a probated estate. A challenge effectively says that the way the decedent's estate is being administered incorrectly or that there was a problem in the way certain estate planning documents were executed. For example, a child whose parent left them out of a will may challenge the parent's probated estate and claim that the parent was coerced into leaving them out through fraud perpetrated by others.

A will is a foundational document in an estate plan

A will is an important testamentary document for any Missouri resident who wants a say in what happens to their money and possessions when they pass away. That is because a will is a legal vehicle for communicating one's testamentary intentions to others when they are no longer present to do so on their own. For example, in a will a person may make bequests of property to those who they love, may provide for charities, and may engage in the disposition of other estate property based on their own wishes and intentions.

Creating a valid will in Missouri is not challenging but it does require individuals to meet certain legal and documentary standards. For example, only adults may create valid wills. However, if a child is legally emancipated from their parents then they may also be allowed to create one for themselves.

Title underwriters and title agents play different roles

Buying a home is a significant financial move. Most people are making a huge investment when they seal the real estate deal. According to Zillow, the median home value in the U.S. has increased by $16,000 over the last year. It’s safe to say that homeowners have a lot at stake when it comes to protecting their property.

Why should individuals avoid letting their estates go to probate?

Making plans for one's death is not always high on the list for a St. Louis resident to do. In fact, it can be downright depressing to think about how one's assets and possessions should be divided up when the owner is no longer alive and using them. When a person dies their estate will be distributed and managed according to the plan they put in place and in some cases that process can involve the use of the probate system.

As previously discussed on this real estate and estate planning blog, probate is the method pulling together a decedent's assets and liabilities, paying off their debts, and using their testamentary tools like their will to pass out the bequests the decedent planned for their beneficiaries. However, probate is not always an efficient system. If a decedent does not make a solid estate plan, probate can take a long time to accomplish and cost a lot of money.

The role of contingencies in a residential purchase agreement

Most Missouri parents have attached contingencies to permitting their children to do what they want. For example, a parent may allow a child to watch cartoons if the child first makes their bed and washes the dishes. Contingencies exist in the workforce, too. A prospective employee may get a job offer that is contingent upon that person passing a background check or other assessment.

A contingency is a condition that must be satisfied before a secondary event may occur. They can play a big role in whether a person is able to purchase a home, and there are different types of contingencies that individuals may see in their residential real estate purchase agreements.

Small estates have shortened probate procedures

Probate is usually necessary if a person has died and left property in his or her name or if the deceased person held rights to receive property. However, in Missouri, small estates may qualify for a simplified process that bypasses regular probate procedures.

If applicable, the following small estate procedures may be more quickly and inexpensively managed than traditional probate proceedings.

Estate planning helps solve friction in the family

For some people, being independent and going through life alone is no big deal. No matter how big and scary the world gets, they are fine. For others, they need a little help. That help may come from a secret weapon, their family. It is a natural wonder just how important family can be to some. For those people however, there is one thing that can disrupt all that family harmony. A lack of estate planning.

The sight of family members sitting around a table arguing bitterly over an inheritance has long been a common occurrence. A new poll showed 44 percent of those assisting families in estate planning said the biggest threat to estates and inheritances is family conflicts.

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