Estate Planning Lawyer St. Charles, MO
No person should put off contacting an estate planning lawyer St. Charles, MO residents recommend from the Legacy Law Center. Many often believe that estate planning is a cumbersome process. While this may be the case when managing the estate planning process on your own, with the assistance of a lawyer from the Legacy Law Center, estate planning can be much more straightforward than many might realize. Making sure that all the basics have been covered will be critical. The last thing you want is to develop an estate plan that may include all of the necessary aspects.
The following are a few components needed when developing an estate plan:
The Last Will and Testament
The last will and testament is one of the most critical components of an estate plan. Your will outlines your wishes in the event of your passing. A will incorporates information regarding how you would like your assets distributed in the event of your passing. Without a will in place, there is no guidance for how assets should be distributed to beneficiaries.
With strategic planning, when a will passes through probate, fewer assets may be subject to the process. Be aware that a will must be updated when significant life changes occur, such as the birth of a child, divorce, changes in assets, and more.
Power of Attorney
There are two different types of attorney, medical power of attorney, and financial power of attorney. Both of these are available should a person need another to step into making decisions for them. The medical power of attorney allows the appointed party to make medical decisions when a person is no longer able to do so themselves. A financial power of attorney allows another to step in when necessary.
In some cases, this may be available when someone is unavailable to make critical financial decisions. Such financial decisions may be required when a person is either incapacitated or unavailable to make such decisions.
Developing a Trust
A trust is a way for a person to avoid probate and dictate how assets are distributed when they are unable to do so. A trust ensures that assets are protected and distributed in the way that you wish. When a trust is established, there are two primary trusts to consider, an irrevocable living trust and a revocable living trust. An irrevocable living trust is something that cannot be modified once it has been created. A revocable living trust is something that can be managed and revised by a grantor throughout their lifetime. When a person passes away, assets can be distributed based on the grantor’s wishes.
Trusts Versus Wills
When you are planning your estate, you may be tempted to write your will and just get it done with. In general, you probably know what assets you have and who you want those assets to go to. However, your estate planning does not need to stop at creating a will. In fact, you may not realize that it is in your best interest (and the interest of your beneficiaries) to create a trust. In some cases, you may even want to create both.
The estate planning attorneys from the Legacy Law Center want to ensure that when you work with us you are getting exactly what you need. Below, we discuss the different uses for will and trusts and walk you through which one may be best for your situation. To discuss more estate planning tools, contact our office for an appointment.
What is the main difference between a trust and will?
Both of these things may be incredibly important to you, so it is key to decide early on if there is anything that may exclude using a will or a trust. When it comes to wills and trusts, there are usually two main differences to keep in mind:
- A trust can help you avoid probate, a will cannot.
- A will can name a guardian for your minor children, a trust cannot.
What else is important to know about wills?
When you create a will, you are creating a document that does not go into effect until after you have died. Essentially, you are creating a will because you want to ensure that your wishes are met when you pass away. You will want to use a will to direct where your assets should go and who should have them. This happens once the person you have entrusted your will to (your executor) files your will with the probate court. If something happens to you while you are still alive (you become incapacitated in some way) a will does not direct where your assets go.
Using a Trust
On the other hand, you can use a trust while you are still alive to manage your property if you wish. When you place your assets into a trust, you can list yourself as the first trustee so that you can still manage any assets you have. Further, if you do become incapacitated, your successor trustee can then start managing your assets. This is a great benefit of having trust.
As noted above, the assets you place into your trust do not need to go through the probate court. Instead, the trustee can transfer property to any heirs you have listed upon your death.
The attorneys of Legacy Law Center know that you have worked hard for what you have and, because of this, you have a right to dictate how your assets are distributed. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have engaged in the estate planning process. This is best suited with a legal professional’s assistance who can ensure that your estate plan keeps your best interests at the forefront. It will be critical to get started today with your St. Charles, Missouri, estate planning lawyer at the Legacy Law Center as soon as possible.