Probate is the legal process of validating a will, paying off debts and outstanding taxes, and distributing property to the heirs. Missouri does not require estate creators or beneficiaries to pay an inheritance or estate tax.
However, depending on the circumstances, you could owe taxes in other states, and estates with high assets may have balances to pay off for federal estate taxes. Working with a lawyer who handles estate tax in O’Fallon probate cases could help protect your legacy. If you are a beneficiary, an experienced attorney could help shield the property and assets you received as an heir.
Missouri Estates and Taxes
Taxes are often confusing, especially when it comes to probating an estate. While the state does not currently have inheritance or estate taxes, the personal representative must ensure they pay off outstanding individual tax balances for the descendant. The estate assets must pay the outstanding tax balances before the administrator can legally distribute the property to heirs.
Additionally, they may owe federal taxes if the estate entails high value. According to Missouri Revised Statute § 137.075, anyone owning or possessing real property or valuable personal property on the first day of January is responsible for paying taxes for the year. If the descendant died on January 2nd, the estate’s representative must ensure they pay taxes due for the year.
There are many steps estate planners can take to minimize taxes and maximize family wealth. A lawyer knowledgeable about O’Fallon estate taxes could help ensure the representative handles their probate duties as the law requires.
Estate Inheritance Taxes
Most estates qualify for inheritance tax exemptions. However, the tax rate and balance to pay before distributing the assets can be significant when there are rental or commercial properties.
Estate Tax Planning in O’Fallon
A sound estate plan can utilize exemptions to minimize tax balances after death. This includes effective preparation and drafting of the will, living or revocable trusts, and other estate planning documents to maximize wealth and reduce federal and state taxes.
Various methods are available to estate owners to safeguard property and assets from outrageous tax payments, such as transferring property during life or declaring the property and funds as gifts. Every estate plan is unique, and legal counsel should tailor the documents to the specific case.
A skilled local attorney could help ensure that estate owners get the most out of their estate planning to protect themselves and their beneficiaries. A lawyer can explain the estate tax’s impact on probate cases and help families in O’Fallon protect their interests.
Discuss Estate Tax in Probate Cases with an O’Fallon Attorney
While many think estate planning is for the rich or only involves drafting a will, this could not be further from the truth. Every adult with property or family benefits significantly from a sound estate plan. Careful estate planning involves protecting wealth by avoiding the payment of unnecessary taxes.
A lawyer experienced with estate tax in O’Fallon probate cases could help create a comprehensive plan to protect your legacy and beneficiaries when the time comes. They could help ensure your estate plan withstands the test of time and, when necessary, assist with modifications and updates. Call soon to get started.