Having a comprehensive estate plan should be at the top of every adult’s priority list. While it may be uncomfortable to think about, every person should be aware of what will happen to their family should a sudden accident or illness occur. An estate plan can help your heirs receive their property with minimal legal interference after your death. Having a comprehensive plan can also provide you with immediate tax benefits or help boost your eligibility for certain government benefits. In short, an effective estate plan can provide peace of mind and help people retain control over the future.
A St. Peters estate planning lawyer could help you achieve your unique goals. Our legal team could work by your side to understand your needs, discuss possible options for testamentary documents, and draft those documents in a way that gives them the intended legal effect.
Working to Identify Concrete Estate Planning Goals
An estate plan functions as a way to make a person’s wishes known should they be unable to execute their plans on their own. Having a plan can also work as a way to transfer property to others at a designated time in the future. However, for these plans to carry the maximum intended effect, it is first necessary to identify one’s goals.
A preliminary step in this process is locating and inventorying one’s assets. These can include cash, real estate, physical property, and business assets. Only by forming a complete list of property can an estate plan carry the intended effect. A knowledgeable attorney in St. Peters could help individuals with this aspect of estate planning.
The next step is to determine what a person wants to happen to those assets. A traditional will can ensure the transfer of property upon one’s death. However, it is also possible to transfer property without the need for probate through the use of a trust. Understanding the available estate planning options can help to ensure that property moves to the right people at the right time.
Common Options in the Estate Planning Process
When most people imagine an estate plan, they think of a will. A will remains a vital part of any estate plan. These documents go into effect upon a testator’s death and help to retain control over the distribution of assets during the probate process. According to Missouri Statute § 474.320, a will must contain the signature of the testator as well as the signatures of two witnesses who observed the testator’s signing of the document. A detail-oriented St. Peters lawyer could help ensure compliance with the legal requirements when forming testamentary documents.
As important as wills can be, modern estate planning offers other options to people looking to protect their futures. A typical example is a trust. A trust is a way to transfer property at any time and avoid the complications associated with probate. At any date, a person may place property into a trust and instruct a trustee to distribute the assets at a designated time. A trust can also function as a way to lower the value of one’s assets to become eligible for government plans like Medicaid. A skilled local attorney could help parties choose the estate planning documents that are best for them.
Contact a St. Peters Estate Planning Attorney Today
Proper estate planning is a vital part of asset management. Every adult should take stock of their assets and consider what they want to happen to them in the future. This can include drafting a will that takes effect upon your death, as well as creating trusts that offer increased flexibility.
People who have questions about this unique process should reach out to a St. Peters estate planning lawyer. A legal team member could help by listening to your needs, suggesting possible solutions, and drafting the documents that make your desires a reality.