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Estate Planning Archives

Who needs an estate plan? The answer, everyone.

After the death of a celebrity or wealthy public figure. it is not uncommon for Missouri residents to hear about the details of their end of life estates. They may discover that the decedents elected to give their money to charity, or in the case of recording artist, Prince, that there was no estate plan in place whatsoever. An estate is what a person has at the end of their life and an estate plan is the directional documents that instruct others on how the decedent wanted their assets divided up.

Why should a health care directive be part of an estate plan?

Suffering an accident and not being able to care for one's self may be a nightmare for St. Louis residents who enjoy the autonomy of living on their own and making their own decisions. However, when incapacitating and life-threatening illnesses and injuries occur, individuals may not be able to communicate their healthcare wishes to the doctors and providers who are tasked with treating them. The inability of a person to direct their own medical decision may cause them to undergo treatments or procedures that they would not otherwise have consented to.

Probate's a headache. How can it be avoided?

If you are reading this, you are seeking answers to questions that too often go unasked. One of the reasons most people don't even think to inquire about estate planning is because they are so busy living their lives they don't think they have an estate to plan for. That's usually not true, which is why it's good to start asking the questions now.

Reasons to avoid probate

Discussing any stage of estate plans can prove difficult for many families. No matter the point of life at which the planning began, family members can often walk away with more questions than answers. Some Missouri residents grappling with this process may be wondering what specific boxes need checking. Others may be wary of the detailed steps involved. The following pointers provide residents with general information on estate planning, as well as how to avoid potential speed bumps along the way. 

Are no-contest clauses enforceable in Missouri?

As you prepare your will in St. Louis, you no doubt have concerns about how your wishes will be received by your beneficiaries. The last thing that you want to do is cause contention amongst them (given, of course, that they not only share a relationship with you, but also likely with each other). However, you also want your desires regarding your estate to be respected. Some might suggest eliminating the potential for disputes by putting a no-contest clause in your will. Yet many states view such clauses as being unenforceable. Is Missouri among them? 

The benefits of early estate planning

Estate planning is not always an easy topic to discuss, but there can be many advantages to addressing these plans head on. Despite the common assumption that this financial process is only for the elderly and the wealthy, Missouri residents who start sooner than later can save time and money in the long run. Recently, some experts have considered the wide range of benefits of beginning these plans early. 

What are the advantages of a special needs trust?

If you are the parent of a special needs child in Missouri, you have all the responsibilities of other parents, but to a higher degree. You also have the concern of caring for your child throughout his or her adult life. Establishing a special needs trust can help ensure that your child is provided for in later years.

Estate planning the smart way

Taking the steps toward estate planning is often no easy task. The term itself can confuse many Missouri residents; not to mention, it can become an incredibly sensitive topic. There are, however, successful ways to go about solving estate planning problems.

Guardian selections for minor children

Residents in Missouri with small children who develop wills and trusts to protect their financial assets have taken a very important step toward directing the future of their estate. However, dealing with debts and assets is not all that these people should do when preparing an estate plan. Parents of minor children should also identify guardianship plans for their children. This is no easy task but is just as important if not more so than outlining plans for assets.

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