What is an Estate?
Is a Will Alone Sufficient? Emphatically No. A will with no other planning is your ticket to the probate court. Likewise, putting your property in joint names is generally not enough to preserve your wishes and may result in the unintended disinheritance of loved ones. A will cannot make provisions for your family in the event of your disability.
Your estate is made-up of all the things you own including your home and its contents, personal items such as jewelry and family heirlooms, cars, boats and trailers. It also includes any insurance policies, investments, retirement accounts and bank accounts.
Revocable Living Trust
HEALTHCARE Power of Attorney
DURABLE Power of Attorney
What Does a Sound Estate Plan Contain? A sound estate plan generally contains a living trust, a pour-over will, a general durable power of attorney, and a power of attorney for healthcare and a medical care directive.
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan? If you don’t have a sound estate plan, all the things you have worked so hard to accumulate over your lifetime will be distributed according to the probate laws of the state. You should avoid probate because:
• On average the probate process takes 1–3 years. • The average probate costs are 7–10% of the estate value. • It invades your privacy — probate files are open to the public. A Sound Estate Plan Offers You the Chance to Choose • What happens to your property and assets in the event of your death. • Who will carry out your wishes. • Who will become the legal guardian of your children. • How to provide for dependents with special needs. • How to utilize your assets for your family during any period of disability. Proper planning can also lower and sometimes eliminate your exposure to estate taxes, court costs and legal fees.
What is a Living Trust? A living trust can be the legal vehicle that offers you the greatest control over your assets and affords your estate both flexibility and privacy. It survives you, so all property in your trust at the time of your death generally is not subject to the probate process.
• Prevents unintentional disinheritance. • Helps to minimize estate taxes, legal costs and time to disbursement. • Provides for your beneficiaries, and can provide for those with special needs, according to your wishes and instructions after your death. • Protects your privacy. • Provides for you and your family’s wellbeing during any period of disability.
Planning for Death & Disability
You cannot predict if you will become disabled or when you will die. However, a sound estate plan contains instructions for the use of your property after your death or during any period when you are disabled and can’t work. It can provide for your loved ones and it will give you peace of mind.
Estate planning is a complex area of law, but that is not where the real difficulties lie. Facing your mortality and planning for the future welfare of those you love can be daunting.
Estate Planning Wills & Trusts • Probate
Choosing to Protect Your Family & Your Assets
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Kevin T. Lake
Notesat Law Attorney & Counselor Map of: 7777 Bonhomme Avenue, Suite 1501 7777 Bonhomme Ave Ste 1501 Clayton, MO 63105-1911 Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 863-0077 E-Mail: email@example.com
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Kevin T. Lake, Attorney & Counselor at Law