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St. Louis Real Estate And Estate Planning Blog

How to distribute assets in a will

When it comes to writing an estate plan, you need to decide who your beneficiaries will be. For most people, this will be children, but you may also decide to leave money and items to nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. 

Generally, it is easy to split financial assets. You can leave behind an equal amount of money to all your children to ensure there is no ill will. However, it can become difficult when you have to divide tangible assets. Get help crafting your estate plan in an equitable manner so no one feels left out. 

What powers are granted through a power of attorney?

Throughout people's lives in Missouri, there are many things they need to take care of for themselves. This includes daily tasks such as eating, going to work, paying bills, taking care of their children and other daily activities. People also from time to time have to attend to more important issues such as buying houses, opening investment accounts and other larger economic matters. Then once they do make those types of purchases and decisions they must ensure that they pay for the costs and manage them.

While it can become stressful at times to do all these things most people can take of all their responsibilities on their own. However, life is unpredictable and sometimes people are severely injured or develop a disease that makes it impossible to take care of their financial responsibilities. So, just like people plan for where their property will go after they pass through estate planning, people also can plan for situations when they are still alive, but incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.

Different reasons that people challenge wills in probate

When people pass away in Missouri, they cannot take anything with them. Their property and assets will remain here and will need to be distributed. Therefore, there are laws in place that dictate where the property will go. The laws state that the property will go to various family members depending on their relationship to the deceased. However, people do not always have a good relationship with their family members or they believe certain family members need the property more than another.

That is why having a will is important. Wills are the deceased's statements and desires about where their property will go. The wills still need to go through probate, but generally courts will follow properly executed wills and direct that the property be distributed according to the will. The family members of the deceased may not be happy about the fact that they did not get what they thought they deserved or what they were going to get though. In certain situations these family members may be able to challenge the will.

A guide to creating your first estate plan

The prospect of creating your estate plan may be intimidating and even uncomfortable, but it is not as complex or morbid as you may assume. In fact, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when you finish it. Still, it is normal and understandable to feel a little bit of apprehension.

Writing your first estate plan is a great step to protecting your property and providing peace of mind for yourself and the people you care about. Here are some suggestions for estate planning for the first time. 

Basics of mechanic's liens in construction projects

As people are aware, there are many construction projects occurring in Missouri at any given time. Some are major construction projects of business offices, apartment buildings or condominiums, stadiums and other large projects. However, there are also smaller projects such as building a home or other real estate projects. These can be expensive projects though and it is important for both the contractors to be paid and for the work to be done correctly.

However, the projects can become more complicated when a general contractor uses subcontractors to complete certain aspects of the project. Generally the subcontractors are paid by the general contractor and not directly by the owner of the property. So, owners need to trust that the contractor is paying the subcontractors. However, if the general contractor does not pay the subcontractor, that company can place a mechanic's lien on the property for the amount owed to them. This means that the owner essentially becomes responsible for paying the fees in addition to what they paid the contractor.

When a revocable trust may be better than a will

In many situations it is better for people in Missouri to have a plan for big events. It is good to know when certain things are going to happen at the event, what type of seating will be needed, what type of food may be served and many other aspects of events. This is also true for people as they raise children, progress through a career and many other aspects of life. It is also true for people as they prepare for death as well. Estate planning is important to ensure that people's property goes to the people they want it to.

There are different options available for people as they go through the estate planning process. Two of the more popular options are to draft a will or to create a revocable trust. Many people may have heard these terms, but may not know exactly what each one does for them and when one is preferable over the other. The biggest difference between a will and a trust is that with a will the person retains ownership over their property, while with a trust the trust actually obtains ownership over the property transferred to it.

Reasons why you should update an old will

If you have a will, you are off to a good start when it comes to estate planning. In fact, you are in the minority of American adults. A stunning 60 percent of adults do not have wills. Creating a will is an essential task to ensure your assets go to the ones you love according to your wishes. 

That said, do not feel too confident just because you are ahead of the pack. While writing a will is an important achievement, you must also review and revise it frequently. Here are some vital reasons you should regularly assess your estate planning documents. 

Steps for when you fear your heirs will misuse inheritance

You may have a substantial amount of money and assets to leave behind to your children. However, a conundrum many people find themselves in is that they want to provide for their children, but one or more of their kids are untrustworthy. A child may suffer from a substance abuse problem, and leaving such a person with a large amount of money with no strings attached could exacerbate the addiction. 

There are numerous estate planning tools you can utilize. In the above scenario, the best one to pursue may be a trust. This allows the trustee to disperse the inheritance in various payments and place conditions on how and when the beneficiary receives the payments. This allows you to provide for loved ones without causing any harm. 

What is the basic process for probate?

When people pass away in Missouri, there is always a period of mourning that the family and friends of the deceased go through. However, there is also another aspect that the family will have to deal with after the death as well and that is distributing the assets owned by the deceased at the time of their death. Obviously people cannot take those belongings with them and the possessions cannot just stay in limbo. So, these assets need to be distributed to those who survive them.

In many situations in order to distribute the assets owned by the deceased the estate must go through probate. This is true even if the person had a valid will at the time of their death. The purpose of probate is to ensure that the assets go to the people or entities that the deceased wanted their property to go to or to the appropriate family members if they did not have a will.

Understanding the purpose of an easement

A Missouri resident may spend years of their life looking for the right place to build their home. They may eventually discover it tucked away in the woods, far from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living. The individual may find the property description of the land to figure out just where their property lines will lay, and in the process they may discover that their desired lot is lacking a location where it touches the local road.

A parcel without a means of ingress or egress may be a difficult plot to develop if no one can get to it. The interested party may have to work with surrounding property owners to attempt to secure an easement to get to their new parcel if they choose to buy it. An easement would give them the right to use another person's property for the specific purpose of getting to their plot.

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