Estate Planning Attorney O’Fallon MO
If you are thinking about establishing an estate plan, you may want to talk to an estate planning attorney O’Fallon MO residents trust. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you with drafting documents that will specifically detail how you want your assets and property divided upon your death. He or she may help you develop the right estate plan and answer any questions you have along the way. With a trusted lawyer on your side, you may have a peace of mind that everything can get taken care of the right way. At the Legacy Law Center, since 2012 we have been assisting clients to ensure that their last wishes are strictly adhered to — and we may help you do the same.
When a person dies with no estate plan in place, or has estate planning documentation that is too vague or does not follow the laws of the state, it is the courts that may decide how the decedent’s assets will be divided – even if it goes against what the decedent may have originally wanted. To avoid that happening to you and your family, contact a skilled estate planning attorney in O’Fallon MO today for assistance.
Estate planning typically involves drawing up a will that specifies how the individual’s property should be divided. Your estate planning attorney will explain to you what factors of your estate should be covered in your will, including choosing who the executor should be. The executor is the person who is responsible for managing all aspects of your estate in O’Fallon MO.
Some of the issues your executor will need to know and address include:
- Understanding the probate process your estate must legally go through
- The allocation and management of the assets of the estate
- The management of all debts and other expenses of the estate
- The proper distribution of the assets of the estate
- The process of closing the estate
Many people also choose to set up trusts for their assets as a way to avoid the probate process. A trust can also ensure that beneficiaries will have immediate access to those funds upon the individual’s death. Depending on your situation, you may decide to have a designated trustee overseeing the trust upon your death instead of granting a beneficiary total access to the trust.
Trustees are often appointed in the case where the beneficiary is a minor child. They may also be appointed if the decedent felt that the beneficiary would be incapable or unable to handle the assets of the trust responsibly, such as a beneficiary who has mental health issues or substance abuse problems.
Responsibilities of the trustee may include:
- Ensuring the assets of the trust are not a financial risk
- Ensuring that all terms set forth in the trust are adhered to
- Ensuring all tax filings are filed correctly and on time
- Keeping proper communication with the beneficiary
Why It May Be Important to Have an Estate Plan
Estate planning is not just for the rich. If you don’t have a strong plan in place, it could have a negative impact on your loved ones. Here are a few reasons why estate planning is important:
- It Protect Families with Young Children: If you have minor children, an estate planning attorney in O’Fallon MO may recommend having an estate plan in place. In your plan, you may name the guardians you want to take care of your children in case you die. Without a plan, the courts may have to decide where your children go.
- It Reduces Taxes for Your Heirs: The last thing you want is your heirs to get hit with a big tax bill upon your death. If you have an estate planning attorney O’Fallon locals respect help you with estate planning, you can reduce taxes for your loved ones.
- Your Assets Won’t Get in the Wrong Hands: To ensure that your assets go to the designated beneficiaries, you must have an estate plan in mind. Otherwise, the courts can decide who gets what. This can take years and create turmoil between family members. If state exactly who you want to inherit your assets in your estate plan, this can all be avoided.
- It Can Help Your Heirs Avoid Probate: Another important reason to seek estate planning is that it can help your heirs avoid the probate process upon your death. Probate costs extra money and may require your heirs to wait months until they receive all of their belongings. If you just hire an estate planning attorney to help you create an estate plan, your loved ones might be able to avoid the probate process.
Do You Have an Estate Plan in Place?
Estate planning is not just for seniors. The reality is that none of us knows what tomorrow may bring. Fatal accidents and illnesses happen to people of all ages. As tragic as these deaths are, grieving families can be left even more devastated when there are legal questions about how their loved one’s property and assets should be handled.
If you would like to speak with a compassionate estate planning attorney O’Fallon MO families depend on, call the Legacy Law Center today to set up a consultation with someone from our team.
Signs Your Estate Plan May Not be Up to Snuff
Creating an estate plan is important in that it helps to outline your final wishes. An estate plan can also provide your family with a road map for how you would like your estate managed after your passing. Although you have done the responsible thing by creating your estate plan, you should enlist an estate planning attorney O’Fallon, MO for help in confirming that your plan is valid. The last thing you want is for family to proceed after your passing unable to carry out your final wishes.
Creating an estate plan in a timely manner is the responsible thing to do. Because of this, you are probably under the assumption that your estate plan is all set when faced with the unexpected. But what happens when your will is not validated by the courts? This can be a nightmare for family who are working to resolve your estate in the event of your passing. Here are some signs you may want to speak with Legacy Law Center.
#1 You Have Not Updated Your Estate Plan
It’s important to make updates to your estate plan in a timely manner. By not doing so on a regular basis, you may have outdated information within your estate plan. In some cases, you may have appointed beneficiaries or an executor who is no longer living, you are no longer married to, or is unable to take on the responsibility. Should this occur, you risk a judge stepping in to make decisions for you, updating your estate plan regularly is key to ensuring it’s smooth fulfillment.
#2 Make Sure That Your Will is Valid
Legacy Law Center has the ability to ensure that your will is a valid and legally binding document. Receiving confirmation from an estate planning attorney O’Fallon, MO can provide you with the peace of mind that you have a fully developed estate plan. These are some key elements necessary in order to have a valid will:
- The will must be in writing
- Signed and dated by you
- Signed by witnesses who are at least 18 years of age
- You must be of sound mind at the time you created the will
#3 You Created Your Will Without a Lawyer
With so many online tools available to create a will, it’s not uncommon for a person to create a will on their own. This can be dangerous in that an online wizard may:
- Create a will that is not valid
- Fail to take into consideration tax laws
- Fail to strategize taxes so that they may work in your favor
- May not take into consideration state laws
- Won’t provide you with the counsel you deserve
Creating a will online can seem like an attractive option. It may give you the ability to save money while working on your will in the privacy of your own home. However, you should carefully consider whether this is the right decision for you. You wouldn’t want to put yourself at risk for creating a will that is ineffective should you pass away.
#4 You Haven’t Considered Your Assets
When outlining your assets within your estate plan, an O’Fallon, MO estate planning attorney can strategize the best way to distribute the assets to your beneficiaries. In some cases, giving them to beneficiaries right away can be a mistake. This can be due to poor judgement, irresponsibility, bad investments, etc. An estate planning attorney O’Fallon, MO can help you set up a trust that provides oversight for beneficiaries.
Have you created your will all on your own? You may want to have Legacy Law Center review it to determine that your estate plan can withstand court. Taking the time to outline your final wishes is a significant part of any battle. Allow for legal services to assist you in the completion of your estate plan and confirmation that it is a valid and legal document that you can rely on.
Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning can involve many complexities, so it may be in your best interest to work with an experienced O’Fallon estate planning attorney. He or she may help you through the process of drafting the appropriate documents and deciding how to divide your assets.
The majority of estate planning lawyers charge flat rates for drafting documents, such as a last will and testament and beneficiary designations, and planning your estate. If a more complicated matter arises, you should speak with your estate planning attorney to determine if they will charge by the hour or if you can arrange a different payment plan.
Do not wait to hire an attorney from Legacy Law Center to help you with your estate. If you contact an estate planning attorney O’Fallon MO offers, you can be one step closer to establishing your estate.
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