Estate Planning in Missouri

Estate planning is primarily about organization and knowing how to start and what to remember.  It is important that individuals starting the estate planning process sin Missouri do not focus solely on distributing assets to worthy heirs.  They should focus on making sure that the transfer of their estate is a smooth process for heirs and does not turn into a battle for control.  Slight mistakes and misunderstandings can easily render a will invalid.  In the state of Missouri an invalid will could mean nothing to children and spouses who equally share everything, but they can mean disaster for other family members who are dependent on a suddenly deceased family member.

Things Everyone Should Remember

Arrangements should always be made to transfer property that requires property or deeds.  Find out everything that is required for the transference of titles and properties in Missouri.  In most situations a will has to be filed with a court but in some situations joint owners will be allowed to inherit property if there is a survivorship clause.

Missouri residents should also be aware of all taxes that their heirs will have to pay for death or on estates.  These numbers depend on the size of the estate and are subject to change.  Lastly, always remember to check and update the information regarding who benefits from life insurance and retirement plans.

Never Forget Elderly Parents

Since Missouri law favors spouses and children elderly parents are completely forgotten and sometimes left in a difficult position.  While some surviving spouses or children might be willing to continue supporting aging parents others will not be so kind.  Unless arrangements are made elderly parents can find themselves penniless.

Always remember to set up a trust for an elderly parent that will help cover basic living expenses.  Appoint a trustworthy individual to act as guardian and trustee to look after them physically and guard their inheritance.

Don’t Hesitate to Contact an Attorney

The biggest mistake that people make when estate planning in Missouri and other states is that they avoid going to an attorney.  People want to save money and do not realize that they could be costing their heirs money down the line.  It is always best to consult with an experienced attorney if you have no experience with estate planning or inheritance laws.  An experienced attorney will be able to tell you whether or not your choices are legally sound.

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