Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Mid-Missouri
Estates, Trusts, and Wills
At the Law Offices of Allen & Rector, P.C., we prepare living trusts, wills, powers of attorneys, and any other estate planning documents necessary to implement our clients’ estate planning needs. We assist families with Medicaid planning and death tax issues and planning.
Brief Overview of Your Estate Planning Options
Below, we have prepared a brief overview of your estate planning options in Missouri. But this overview is in no way a stand-in for the representation our experienced estate planning attorneys can offer you.
When you choose us for your estate planning needs, we look at your assets and listen to your goals, and then match the estate planning tool that is right for you and your family. We want you to rest assured that you have control of your things during your life and that your assets go to whom you want upon your death or incapacitation. Our goal is to avoid the costs and time-consuming process of probate, avoid death taxes, plan ahead for the possibility of long-term nursing home care, and to assist your loved ones at your death.
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In a nutshell, your options are as follows:
DO NOTHING. If you die without an estate plan, then someone else makes these critical decisions for you. In Missouri, there are a series of laws called “Intestate Succession”. These laws determine where your things go and who receives them. Your estate is then probated with the associated costs and delays, you lose privacy as your affairs then become a matter of public record.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. If you die with a will, then your wishes are carried out; and, it is generally inexpensive but, again, your estate is probated with all the same costs, delays, and lack of privacy. It should be noted that probate generally costs your family much more than the cost of establishing a trust.
NON-PROBATE TRANSFERS LAW. In 1989 the Missouri legislature enacted a series of laws giving you the right to do certain documents that avoid probate. (Examples include: beneficiary deeds, T.O.D. designations on titles, P.O.D. designations on bank accounts, etc.) These documents work well on straightforward estates and do avoid probate. These documents are not however very flexible and do not allow for death tax planning, or planning for long-term nursing care. They are not overly expensive depending on the documents prepared.
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST. These documents are tried and true and have been around since the days of the Roman Empire. Once prepared, they avoid probate, avoid or greatly reduce death taxes, and allow for Medicaid and nursing home planning. They are private documents keeping your private matters private. They are very flexible and within reason “If you can dream it up, we can write it up”. They are somewhat expensive depending on the documents prepared, and the work involved in carrying out your wishes. It should be noted that a Trust generally more than pays for itself, by avoiding probate.