Probate Lawyer St. Charles, MO
A probate lawyer St. Charles, MO families recommend, can help you develop a clear estate plan and last will & testament. This is critical to ensuring that your final wishes are carried out, and conflict amongst your heirs is mitigated down the road. Probate lawyers have a vast amount of knowledge about estate planning and probate law. Probate is often a feared process, and because of this, you may be left feeling overwhelmed when either planning ways to avoid it or are left to resolve the estate of a loved one. We know that you have questions, Legacy Law Firm wants to provide you with the answers to the number of questions you may have.
What is probate?
When someone passes away, the will must be validated or “proved” through the judicial process of probate. Whether someone has a will in place or has passed away without a will, be aware that all wills must endure the probate process. While probate is often feared by many, in most cases, this doesn’t have to be the case, especially with the guidance of a probate lawyer. Estate planning with a lawyer offers advantages that help your heirs to retain as much of their inheritance as possible. This can occur with living trusts, tax requirements, and more. While this may be overwhelming, we can help.
Is it possible for a will to avoid passing through probate?
Most of the time, a will does have to pass through probate. However, there are ways to protect many of your assets from the probate process with the guidance of our St. Charles, MO probate lawyer. With careful planning, some assets can be placed in a trust that may circumvent probate. Other accounts such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies will not be required to pass through probate, but you will want to make sure that beneficiaries are named on the accounts to ensure that they are passed on.
Why would someone contest a will?
Once an estate plan has been developed, it’s recommended that you speak with your loved ones to provide them with a clear understanding of your final wishes. It will also be important that anyone who has been disinherited is made aware of your wishes before the time comes. This can help to reduce the likelihood of a problem during the probate process. It’s important to know that four key elements must be present to contest a will:
- Testamentary Capacity
- Undue Influence
- Lack of Witnesses
- Sworn Statement
Is the probate process expensive? If so, why?
Yes, without the proper planning in place, the probate process can become incredibly expensive. The estate will be required to pay taxes and any outstanding debts. In addition, legal fees, court fees, and executor fees can quickly add up. The legal process can be drawn out, causing more extensive costs if someone contests the will in probate.
Probate doesn’t have to be the feared process that it is often made out to be. With the guidance of Legacy Law Center, our lawyers can help you develop a will that mitigates complications that could arise in probate. Additionally, our team can help manage the probate process if you are an executor or family member charged with resolving your loved one’s estate. To get started, contact our St. Charles, Missouri probate lawyer today.