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Estate Planning Archives

Wise planning advised for remarrying couples

If you are one of the many people in Missouri who has been fortunate enough to find a new love to bring into your life after the death of a spouse or after a prior divorce, you have many reasons to celebrate indeed. However, before you rush to walk down that aisle again and legalize your union, it is wise for you and your new partner to carefully review and formalize your estate plans.

When should I review my estate plan?

If you are one of the people in Missouri who has spent the time and energy to make a will, trust or other estate planning document, you should be pleased with yourself for taking this step. However, you should now ask yourself how long it has been since you have reviewed those items? Your estate plan should never be considered static because your life is not static. People come into your life either via marriage or birth. Similarly, divorce and death may take people out of your life.

What happens when someone dies without a will?

A will is likely one of the last aspects of life most would choose to discuss. Yet when an unexpected death occurs, family members are often left to pick up the pieces. To make matters worse, some surviving family are swept into discord over the deceased family's will. What happens when someone dies without a will in Missouri, and are there any clear solutions to this potentially tricky issue?

Do you have to amend your will after your divorce?

You are encouraged to begin your estate planning early on in your adult life. Yet this process is not something that is undertaken and then immediately over; rather, it should be fluid, with changes constantly being made as your own circumstances in St. Louis evolve. One major life event that will affect significant changes to your estate is your marriage. You will no doubt want to make changes to accommodate your spouse (and any children you two may have together). Yet what if you later choose to divorce? 

Unclear estate planning and family disputes

In addition to the many stages of the grieving process that come with the loss of a close family member, some individuals experience tension between other family members regarding the deceased family's estate planning. One common way that family disputes arise in Missouri is when a family member fails to clearly outline the details of their will. Surviving family members are often left with a legal mess to untangle, which, needless to say, can spark tension over an already-emotional situation. 

The importance of estate planning for singles

Much of estate planning revolves around the family, children and immediate loved ones. Passing assets in a large, closely-knit family seems natural, but if you live alone or aren't in close contact with family members, the future of your estate might not look as clear. What are your options?

Children at odds over use of famous father's songs

One of the reasons why St. Louis residents are encouraged to see to all matters related to their estates while they still are able to do so is to avoid any potential strife and disputes that may arise amongst their beneficiaries once they are gone. Yet as time passes, changes in the management of one's estate may force parties into positions that they never wanted, yet feel compelled to fulfill. Beneficiaries who may have initially been relieved to not be in a position of authority regarding the management of estate assets may end up having to assume such roles, which could lead to conflict with others who also have an interest in an estate. 

The legal details of intestacy

The loss of any loved one in the family can come with its own set of challenges, including the handling of that family member's will. The process of determining a will is usually simple, but what if the person who died left no trace of planning a last will? Missouri's intestacy laws oversee these types of situations, and assists those who are left with the loss of a loved one and a sea of legal questions.

Conservator accused of stealing $100,000 from wards

One of the main reasons why St. Louis residents are encouraged to see to their estate planning matters early on in their lives is so that they can retain control over how their assets are eventually managed and dispersed. Most put this important process off believing that they will have ample time to do it before their deaths. However, death is not the only event that can rob one of control over his or her estate. Being declared incapacitated or unfit may warrant the naming of a guardian or conservator to manage one's affairs. If such a privilege has not already been granted in one's estate planning documents, he or she risks it being given to a complete stranger. 

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