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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.

Guiding people through the probate process in Missouri

Everyone in Missouri will lose family members throughout their lives. The family members of the deceased will leave a lot of memories for their loved ones. They will also leave all of their property. This property will be given to people who were left for family members and friends either in a will or pursuant to intestate law. However, there is a process that needs to occur in order to ensure the proper people receive the property and that is the probate process.

Through the probate process, the personal representative must first gather all of the assets and property. They then must find the beneficiaries which can take some time especially if the will was executed many years before the death. The personal representative must identify creditors and how much they are owed. Then they must conduct the accounting of all the assets and debts and then finally distribute the assets to the appropriate beneficiaries and creditors.

Common title defects to be aware of when purchasing a home

Buying a home is a very important time in many people's lives in Missouri. It is a major purchase and a lot of thought needs to go into the decision. People may look at many, many homes prior to deciding the best one to purchase. There are many different aspects that people are looking for within their budget and want to make sure they buy one that is the right fit for them. So, once they do find the home they want to buy they will go through the real estate negotiation process and hopefully reach an agreement to purchase the home.

However, after the purchase price is agreed to and the purchase agreement is signed, people still need to obtain title to the home before it becomes their home. In order to do this the people transferring the title are the only ones that can have an interest in it. If others have an interest in the title it is known as having a defect and that must be cured before it can be transferred. This can be very devastating for people who have just found the home they want to purchase.

Importance of updating estate plan after a divorce

There are many changes that people in Missouri need to work through after a divorce. Separating one shared life into two separate lives is not always an easy task. Homes are separated; time with children is separated; bank, retirement and investment accounts need to be separated and other aspects of their lives need to be separated as well. This is certainly not an easy task and can be very time consuming. However, people should also make another change that is not usually directly discussed during the divorce process and that is their estate plan.

Their estate plan can include different documents and in many situations most of them will need to changed. People may have a healthcare directive naming their spouse as the person who will make medical decisions. Often times they may name their spouse as their power of attorney. Also, usually in a will or trust, a spouse is named as the primary beneficiary and as the trustee. In addition to this most of the time a spouse is named as beneficiary for retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

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