At some point after you “officially” become an adult you will start to wonder if you need to start thinking about estate planning. At what point in your life should you create a Will? Do you need to be married before an estate plan is necessary? Do you need to have a high net worth before a Will is essential? What exactly determines the need to create an estate plan? These are all good questions. Because estate planning is such an individualized endeavor it is always best to consult with an … [Read more...] about Do I Need to Create a Will?
The cornerstone of any estate plan is generally a Last Will and Testament. Your Will allows you to decide who will receive your estate assets when you die. What happens though, if someone decides to contest your Will? Contrary to popular belief, a Will cannot be contested simply because a beneficiary or heir is not happy with the gift he/she received (or failed to receive) under the terms of the Will. Instead, the “contestant” of a Will must allege a legal ground on which the Will can be … [Read more...] about Contesting a Will – Lack of Testamentary Capacity
For most people, one of the primary reasons for executing a Last Will and Testament is to reduce the likelihood of confusion or conflict with regard to their estate assets when they die. By executing a Will the hope is that the Testator’s wishes will be both clear and honored. Unfortunately, even a flawlessly drafted and perfectly executed Will does not guarantee the absence of conflict after your death. In most states, any “interested” person has the legal right to contest a Will. There is, … [Read more...] about What Is a No-Contest Clause?
Thanks in large part to technological and scientific advances over the last century, international borders are evaporating and the world is become smaller. Where it was once uncommon to travel abroad with any great frequencies, it is now something the average person can do. It has also become more common to own property in more than one country. Owning property in a foreign jurisdiction can make estate planning a bit more complicated. For example, if you own property overseas do you need an … [Read more...] about If You Own Property Overseas Do You Need an International Will?
The loss of a loved one, particularly a parent, is often an emotional time period filled with grief and uncertainty. Unfortunately, in the midst of that grief there are practical, legal matters that must be addressed, such as the probate of the decedent’s estate. If you recently lost your father, for example, that likely means that someone has submitted your father’s Last Will and Testament to the appropriate court in order to initiate the probate process. What happens though, if someone … [Read more...] about What Happens If Someone Contests Your Father’s Will?
Though once used almost exclusively by wealthy families, trust agreements have become an increasingly popular addition to any comprehensive estate plan over the last several decades. If you plan to include a testamentary trust in your estate plan one of the most important decisions you will make when creating your trust agreement is who to appoint as the Trustee of youtestamentary trust. All too often people simply appoint a spouse, family member, of close friend without considering if the … [Read more...] about Who Should You Appoint As the Trustee of Your Testamentary Trust?
Although your Last Will and Testament will likely serve as the foundation of your comprehensive estate plan, you will likely include a wide variety of additional estate planning tools and strategies in your plan as well. Among those will likely be at least one trust agreement. If you are married, you and your spouse may create a trust agreement together as a way to protect your marital assets and eventually pass them down to future generations. You may wonder, however, what happens to a living … [Read more...] about What Happens to a Living Trust When One Spouse Dies?
Everyone over the age of 18 should have at least a basic Last Will and Testament in place. If you are finally considering executing a Will yourself you may also be wondering “ Are there other documents that should be prepared when preparing a Will? ” Because of the individual nature of an estate plan, only an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney can provide you with advice regarding which additional documents you should prepare for your plan; however, in most cases there are additional … [Read more...] about Are There Other Documents That Should Be Prepared When Preparing a Will?
Missouri Advanced Directives: What You Need To Know from Charlie Amen The term “advanced directive” refers to legal documents which, collectively, allow you to express your wishes with regard to end-of-life decisions. Learn more about missouri advanced directives in this presentation. … [Read more...] about Missouri Advanced Directives: What You Need to Know
In 2013, Ray Fulk, a 71 year old Illinois man, left his half million dollar estate to two actors he had never met. According to the deceased’s estate planning attorney, he left his estates assets to the actors because they were friends of his, despite the fact that they had never actually met in person. The beneficiaries of the estate assets, actors Kevin Brophy and Peter Barton, were understandably surprised to hear that they were the recipients of the decedent’s estate valued at more than $1 … [Read more...] about Illinois Man Leaves Large Bequests to Actors He Never Met