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St. Louis Real Estate And Estate Planning Blog

5 Ideas for Improving the Value of Your Property

When you're getting ready to put your home on the market- or are considering a potential sale in the future -improving the value of your home becomes a priority. Here are five ideas for improving property value and getting a higher return of investment (ROI):

When Should You Call a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Are you wondering if it's time to call a personal injury lawyer? If you've been in a work or auto accident recently, there's a good chance this has been weighing on your mind.

Probate 101 - How it really works

What exactly is the Probate process?

When a family member passes away and they leave assets and debts to be accounted for, probate is the financial tally of what's left behind. In other words, Probate is the legal process that ensures all outstanding bills, unpaid taxes, and outstanding debts are paid. Distribution for the remaining assets are directed by the last Will and Testament (or by state law in the absence of a Will).

6 Reasons to Call a Family Law Office

Divorce is an overwhelming process for everyone. If you're thinking about filing for divorce your spouse has already initiated the process, it may be time to call in some help. That's where an attorney who specializes in family law matters will be critical for you.

Intestate succession in Missouri

Most of our readers understand that it is important for men and women to have personal estate plans in place so that their end-of-life wishes are respected with regard to the distribution of their assets. When does not have a will or other testamentary documents executed before their death, their assets will generally pass through the process of intestate succession. To die intestate is to pass on without having left instructions for what to do with one's own wealth and possessions.

In Missouri, a person who dies intestate will have their estate pass to their spouse. If the decedent has children with their spouse, the spouse will take $20,000 from the estate plus half of the remainder. The children will take the other half of the remainder of the estate.

Types of estate administration for probate

As people grow older in Missouri, the type of responsibilities they have change and their priorities change as well. Many are focusing on retirement and what they need in order to stop working and live the lifestyle they would like to live during it. They also should be planning for what is going to happen to their possessions when they pass on. This can be accomplished through various methods, but one way is to have a will that states which people will receive their possessions after they pass away.

Wills are very important, but in order to administer the will and distribute the assets, many estates will still need to go through the probate process. Small estates, under $40,000, will not need to go through the probate process at all though and the personal representative will simply need to distribute the assets according to the will. However, estates over $40,000 will have to go through probate.

Effective methods of reducing estate tax

When you have a lot of assets, you have the potential to lose some of what you have worked to amass to estate taxes if their value exceeds a certain level. There are, however, certain things Missouri residents can do to reduce the amount of their estate that their beneficiaries will lose to estate taxes.

So, what are some steps you can take now to help minimize how much of your wealth your loved ones will lose to estate taxes?

Buying commercial real estate is more complex than residential

Both residential and commercial real estate are bought and sold often, but the process and complications involved in each type of sale differ. Purchasing residential property tends to be a little bit easier and there is a fairly established procedure for purchasing residential property. Residential properties also usually involve one person or a family and the sale prices are much lower making the financing side much easier to handle often times.

However, commercial real estate purchases have some more complications. One complicating factor is that commercial properties generally cost much more because they involve much larger areas than typical residential real estate lots.

Funding a trust after executing it is very important

There are many unexpected things that happen in people's lives in Missouri. These can include problems with their homes, car accidents, illnesses and other things. However, people know that these types of events are possible and therefore they try to plan based on the fact that they know these events could occur. For these types of problems people usually buy insurance to ensure the problems are fixed.

Another unexpected event that occurs in people's lives is death. All people will pass away and some deaths are more unexpected than others and that is why it is also important to plan for people's deaths as well. People cannot take their property with them and it is important the property is given to the proper people. The way people can plan for this is through estate planning. One option people have when they go through the estate planning process is to set up a trust which directs where property will go and has the added benefit of avoiding the probate process.

Key aspects of a trust

You desire to protect your loved ones, when possible. A proper estate plan can aid in your efforts even after you are gone.

One possible aspect of an estate plan is a trust. Before selecting one for your plan, consider a few important aspects.

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