Although the term estate planning strictly focuses on the documents and legal process governing the transfer of assets after death, this term can also be broadened to include general late-life planning. Together, these two areas of focus fall under the umbrella of “elder law.” Our Estate Planning Lawyer Chesterfield MO can help in your late-life planning.
While you are writing wills and creating trusts to secure your assets, you may also want to be thinking about the kinds of issues you may face late in life – financial, physical, and cognitive.
Avoiding Family Conflict and Estate Litigation
The last thing that most people want is for their families to quarrel over assets left behind in an estate plan. The clearer you can be in your will and other documents, the less likely this will happen.
Unresolved inheritance issues can quickly escalate into litigation. And in addition to being stressful for all involved, litigation is expensive. The money you save doing DIY estate planning is negligible compared to how much money could be lost in a lengthy legal battle. And estate funds are often those used to pay for litigation.
Your Estate Plan Can Serve as a Fond Farewell
An estate plan is a great way to take care of your loved ones after you pass away. Giving your family inheritance with minimal estate taxes, minimal probate, and minimal hassle is a wonderful way to show how much you care. Moreover, good estate planning also allows you to leave a legacy by making sizable donations to organizations and causes you care about. Additionally, our Estate Planning Lawyer in Chesterfield MO can help ensure that you have a power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives in place to ensure that your wishes are respected if you are incapacitated by illness or injury.
Planning Medical Care and Incapacity
Americans live much longer than in the past, but the quantity of life isn’t the same and quality. Unfortunately for many, advanced age comes with cognitive and physical decline. That’s why it is so important to prepare for a scenario in which you may become unable to make or communicate important decisions independently.
There are three tools you can implement now in case of physical or mental incapacity. They include:
Appointing durable power of attorney: This is the act of designating someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make or communicate them yourself. Usually, these decisions are related to your finances, assets, and living arrangements.
Appointing a medical power of attorney: This is the act of designating someone you trust to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated. In both cases, designating a power of attorney allows you to choose an agent to act on your behalf (if it ever becomes necessary) rather than a court-appointed guardian.
Making an advance directive or living will: This document lays out your wishes for end-of-life medical care, including whether or not you want to receive lifesaving or life-sustaining treatments. Your medical power of attorney should be very familiar with this document and your medical wishes generally so that any decisions not already specified in the document can be made in your best interests.
An estate planning lawyer in Chesterfield Missouri is going to be of use to individuals who are creating a will, designating beneficiaries of their will, establishing a durable power of attorney, or medical power of attorney, and setting up trusts that protect your assets to later benefit yourself, or your beneficiaries after your death.
Estate planning attorneys can educate you about the probate process and find ways to help you avoid the probate process. Furthermore, an estate planning attorney can help you reduce your estate tax—or even avoid it altogether.
You may also speak with an estate planning attorney if you have the power of attorney over a recently deceased person’s estate. You’ll have to go to probate court, and you’ll want someone by your side—especially if your attorney is able to get you out of probate court. Whether you avoid probate court or not depends heavily on the type of assets that were left to the estate, and how you can transfer their ownership legally.
Should a beneficiary, or even somebody who is not designated in the will decide they wish to contest the will, they’ll be suing the estate of the deceased person. In this instance, you want an estate planning lawyer so that you can rectify this issue. Lawsuits of this kind can take a toll on the estate’s funds and leave everyone who would otherwise benefit with less than they would’ve received.
Legacy Law Center was founded in 2012, and their goal is to provide senior citizens, veterans and families with proper estate planning. In fact, Charles J. Moore, the owner and founder of Legacy Law Center, has been practicing law since 2005—he started in estate planning, and dealt with probate claims as well.
But throughout all of this, you’ll want an estate planning attorney that you can trust. And that’s where Legacy Law Center comes into play. Let’s talk about the center, and why you might want to work alongside them. Whenever you’re consulting an attorney, you want somebody who is as passionate about your cause as you are, and Legacy Law Center provides that.
When Mr. Moore moved from California to New Jersey, he took up litigating estate matters, too. He served as an assistant municipal prosecutor. He eventually moved back home to St. Charles and founded a law firm—The More Law Firm. This firm focused solely on estate planning, probate, business and estate litigation as well as criminal defense. But in 2012, Mr. Moore realized his passion was probate matters and estate planning—and he founded Legacy Law Center to serve his passion to the people.
So if you need an estate planning lawyer in Chesterfield, Missouri, consider Legacy Law Center. Charles Moore has experience and passion that can be of use to you. He and his firm have received various awards and recognitions, such as being named one of the “10 Best Estate Planning Attorneys in Missouri” in 2018, a recognition received from the American Institute of Legal Counsel.
Reach out to Legacy Law Center today, for your estate planning needs.
Legacy Law Center was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing top-notch assistance to seniors, veterans, and families with an intense focus on proper estate planning. Because the firm serves families, veterans and elderly people,there are many focuses. Such as estate planning and how estate planning is important.
An estate planning lawyer in Chesterfield, MO can help you feel more secure in your future, and
the future of your children and family. With all of our years of combined experience, we’re going to be able to provide you with information such as:
- The specifics behind creating a will.
- How you designate your beneficiaries and choose who to place as a beneficiary.
- How to reduce or avoid estate taxes!
- How to avoid or reduce time in the probate court process.
- How to and why you might want to set up trusts to protect assets.
Most estate planning lawyers in Chesterfield, MO charge a set fee, or a flat fee. This means everything is stated in a price before you start working with this lawyer. Lawyers that handle estate planning can help you craft wills and other binding legal documents, as well as help you set up a durable power of attorney.
If you plan to have your estate lawyer manage your estate, act on your behalf during disputes, or otherwise be “on call” there will be an hourly fee in most cases. An estate planning attorney can also be called if there are any issues with power of attorney, even if it just is an issue of the person in charge not knowing what to do.
Difference Between Probate Lawyer and Estate Planning Lawyer
An estate planning lawyer often works with living individuals, and probate lawyers typically handle the estate after the person dies. This does not mean you cannot have the same lawyer for both instances, because these are very similar areas of law so often lawyers practice both probate and estate planning.
However, the types of fees you pay may vary if you are using the same lawyer for both probate and estate planning, and this is because of their tasks and what they are in charge of when they take on that second role.
Some Certifications Estate Planning Lawyers Have
Not every lawyer is going to have certifications, but these are some of the most common certifications. These certificates usually were obtained to acquire further credentials, and can help you understand what your lawyer can reasonably do.
- Accredited Estate Planner, or AEP, is a designation from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils that is given to licensed lawyers, CPAs, chartered life underwriters and other financial advisors. This has a minimum of five years in estate planning experience. You must complete two courses at the American College of Financial Services, and must complete a minimum thirty hours of education every month. Half of that education has to be in estate planning.
- Chartered Trust and Estate Planner, or CTEP is given to people with a degree in finance, tax, accounting, law or financial services. They must have five related courses, a completed certification training course, and must continue their education annually. This is given to you from the American Academy of Financial Management.
Power of attorney and advance directives are important ways to help you direct your late-life medical care and other vital decisions before there is ever a question of incapacity. We can help you with all three as part of a larger estate plan. Contact our Estate Planning Lawyer in Chesterfield MO. At Legacy Law Center, we have a professional estate planning lawyer who is ready to guide you and plan your later life together.
Chesterfield Estate Planning FAQs
If you’re thinking of planning your future, your Chesterfield Missouri estate planning lawyer can walk you through the process.
Navigating the intricacies of estate planning can often feel daunting. It’s a journey filled with important decisions and legal considerations, which is why having accurate information is crucial. At Legacy Law Center, we are dedicated to helping you understand the essentials of estate planning. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about estate planning lawyers and their role in securing your legacy.
What Does An Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
An estate planning lawyer assists clients in managing their assets and planning for the future. This includes creating wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. They help ensure assets are protected, wishes are honored, and beneficiaries are taken care of according to the client’s desires. Additionally, they offer advice on minimizing taxes and navigating the probate process.
Why Do I Need An Estate Planning Lawyer?
Estate planning is complex and involves navigating state laws, tax implications, and personal or business circumstances. Your Chesterfield estate planning lawyer helps prevent costly mistakes, ensures legal compliance, and provides peace of mind that your estate plan is accurate and effective. This service is essential for anyone wanting to ensure their assets and loved ones are properly cared for, regardless of the estate size.
What Is The Difference Between A Will And A Trust?
A will is a legal document that details how you want your assets distributed after death and may include guardianship designations for minors. It becomes effective posthumously and must go through probate. A trust manages assets during your lifetime and after death. It allows for private, often quicker asset distribution as it bypasses probate, providing more control over when and how your assets are distributed.
How Often Should I Update My Estate Plan?
It’s advisable to review and potentially update your estate plan every three to five years or after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or a substantial change in financial status. This ensures that your estate plan accurately reflects your current situation, wishes, and the latest laws.
What Happens If I Die Without A Will?
If you die without a will (intestate), state laws dictate how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes. Intestacy can lead to family disputes, and your assets may not be distributed to your preferred beneficiaries. Having a will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and can provide clarity and direction for your loved ones during a difficult time.
Get In Touch With Us Today
At Legacy Law Center, we are committed to guiding you through every step of the estate planning process. If you have more questions or need assistance with your estate plan, we invite you to contact us. Let’s work together to ensure your legacy is preserved and protected according to your exact wishes. Get in touch with our office today, and see how a Chesterfield estate planning lawyer from our team can shape your tomorrow.