Probate Lawyer Lake St. Louis, MO
At Legacy Law Center, a probate lawyer in Lake St. Louis, MO knows that some people may be okay with their assets going through probate, and others may want to avoid it at all costs. Most people don’t appeal to the idea that their estate could be handled by the court system after passing on, so they make preparations now so their legacy is distributed to future generations how they prefer.
What is Probate?
The legal process of passing title to someone’s property is called probate. If an individual has the property that is not distributed through non-probate measures, then it must go through probate where the court oversees its transfer to rightful heirs. Probate court proceedings are public record, so it is viewable to the general public. Probate may conclude within a few months or take a year or longer to complete.
Because of how long it can take, many people prefer to make preparations through writing an estate plan before passing away, so their assets don’t undergo probate. Probate may cause beneficiaries to wait much longer for their inheritance compared to if a proper estate plan was established beforehand. Examples of assets that may go through probate are listed as follows:
- Vacation residence
- Home residence
- Motor vehicles
- Household goods
- Other tangible belongings
What Documents Are Needed For Probate?
There are numerous documents that may exist within an estate plan. Firstly, a will is one of the most standard documents that a testator will write, as it designates what assets and to whom they will go to upon death. Secondly, a trust provides a similar function but enables more control and customization over assets. Other documents that your Missouri probate lawyer in Lake St. Louis may need for probate include:
- Probate Petition
- Power of Attorney (POA)
- Beneficiary Deed
- Death Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Copy of Will
- List of Assets
- And more+
What if the Deceased Didn’t Write an Estate Plan?
If someone passes away without an estate plan, then the property will fall under the legalities of intestacy laws. These are laws for how property is to be divided and distributed. The order of descent goes from those most closely related, to those more distant. For example, the court may prioritize the spouse and children or grandchildren of the deceased. But if the decedent had no spouse or close descendants, then the property may be divided between living parents and siblings. If the person doesn’t have relation to anyone living within nine degrees, property may be absorbed by the state.
If you have more questions about probate or other estate planning related matters, contact Legacy Law Center so a probate lawyer in Lake St. Louis, Missouri can start addressing your needs right away.