Estate planning is the process through which an individual ensures that their wishes come to fruition after their death. However, most people do not know that estate planning can also impact the present. Careful estate planning can not only provide for the future of your heirs, but it can also bring immediate tax benefits for you and your family.
With that in mind, it is essential to be able to recognize the common issues with estate planning in St. Charles County. For instance, there are some complications could result in a plan not having the maximum immediate effect, and some roadblocks could make probate more challenging after your death. Fortunately, a dedicated estates attorney could help you better understand these potential issues and craft estate plans that minimize headache in the future.
Estate Planning and the State’s Intestacy Statute
The purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that one’s property moves to where they wish after their death. Put another way, these plans can help to avoid the messy probate process and the potential application of the intestacy statute. Under Missouri Revised Statute § 474.010, a person’s estate who dies without a will divests to their heirs according to the law. This can result in a split estate that creates disputes among family members or requires the sale of valuable property.
Transferring assets through a trust can help to mitigate this danger. However, trusts are rarely a person’s only available form of testamentary document, and people lacking a Last Will and Testament might still find that probate makes it more challenging for them to reach their end goal. If a family needs help understanding the state’s intestacy laws and creating a plan that does not run into legal issues, they should reach out to a St. Charles County lawyer today.
Ensuring that an Estate Plan has the Intended Immediate Effects
A traditional estate plan consisted of little more than a will that went into effect upon a testator’s death. However, more modern and flexible plans can use trusts to bring a party immediate benefits that protect their finances and eligibility for government benefits.
Because of this dynamic, contemporary estate plans can help St. Charles County residents with the issue of protecting their current finances. For instance, placing items into a trust could help a testator avoid tax liability on their valuable assets.
It is also essential to craft an estate plan in a way that allows the maker to claim maximum government benefits. For instance, many individuals use their estate plans to become eligible for Medicaid payments. However, an issue can arise during this process concerning the lookback period. Transferring assets into a trust at least five years before applying for benefits can help avoid this common estate planning roadblock.
Call an Attorney about Avoiding the Common Issues with Estate Planning in St. Charles County
Estate planning can be a challenging process. If you do not consider a suite of factors and ensure that your plan is as comprehensive as possible, you might lessen the impact of your framework and run into unforeseen complications. For instance, if unexpected tax burdens and a reduced eligibility for government benefits could cause headache and stress.
If you need help understanding issues with estate planning in St. Charles County, reach out to our legal team today. A skilled lawyer could answer questions and help you craft an estate plan that keeps your future intact. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultations.