Helping Residents of St. Louis Missouri With Their Estate Planning Needs
Though thinking about the possibility of incapacitation or death is never pleasant, the truth is that fatal accidents or incidents may occur at any time. If you are suddenly involved in a tragic event, you want to make sure that your family and other loved ones are taken care of and that you know to whom your property and assets will be distributed. If you do not have an estate plan, you risk your property going to an unintended person or party while certain important loved ones receive nothing. It is never too early to discuss an estate plan, and every adult should contact an experienced St. Charles estate planning attorney to establish an estate plan.
Estate Planning Tools
When many people think of estate planning, you likely immediately think of writing a will. Though wills are a highly important tool in estate planning, there are also many other tools and options that you may utilize. We will go over every possibility and will help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that covers all of the necessary bases. Some examples of estate planning issues you may want to consider include the following:
- Power of attorney designations
- Healthcare directives
- Life insurance policies
- Revocable/Living trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Tax planning
- Foundations or other charitable giving planning
Complex Estate Planning
Many people may be tempted to print out a will from the internet and have that serve as their estate plan. However, simply having a will in place can be very inadequate to cover all of your estate planning needs. This is especially true if you have a complex estate that includes property, different types of financial accounts and assets, among other things. There are many documents that make up most complex estate plans, and the following is some additional information on different aspects of these plans:
- Last will and testament – This document is essential to protect your assets from being distributed according to the probate court’s discretion instead of in accordance with your wishes. Your will should be carefully drafted and executed to avoid any challenges from beneficiaries or potential heirs.
- Living trust – Many people benefit from creating a trust and transferring ownership of their property to the trust to protect it from probate and creditors. A trust makes the estate administration simpler for your family and gives you greater control over how your property and assets are distributed.
- Financial power of attorney – Many people experience an illness or injury that causes them to lose the capacity to make adequate decisions for themselves regarding their financial affairs. To avoid the need for a guardianship case, you can designate a person who will take over your affairs should you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
- Durable power of attorney for health care – Similar to a financial power of attorney this document allows you to instruct who should make medical decisions for your in the case of incapacitation.
- Living will – This important document sets out your wishes for end of life medical care. For example, you can instruct whether or not you want to be kept on life support.
All of these documents should be carefully considered and drafted to ensure they are in line with your wishes for your end of life care and following your death.
Providing Personalized Estate Planning Representation
It is important to realize that every estate plan will be different and should be specifically tailored to your situation. At the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp, we believe there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for estate planning and will carefully consider the following in designing and implementing your estate plan:
- Your specific needs, including financial and medical end-of-life needs
- The needs of your family, including any children with disabilities
- The nature of your assets and property, specifically whether they may be subject to probate
- The identity of your beneficiaries and whether anyone may bring a will or trust contest
- How you want to handle estate and trust administration, whether through someone you know or a professional administrator
- Any other relevant factors, including any concerns regarding creditors, gifts, or taxes
We have handled estate plans for families and estates of all sizes and complexity. Whether you have substantial wealth or are just starting to save, we can address your concerns and ensure the interests of your family are protected should something happen to you.
Whether your estate is large or small, simple or complex, we know how to devise a plan that will protect you, your property, and your wishes.
Additionally, you always want to ensure that your estate plan is devised correctly so that it will hold up if later challenged in court. Our attorneys have extensive experience with a wide variety of estate planning options and work to make sure your estate plan is enforceable.
Contact a St. Louis Estate Planning Lawyer for Assistance Today
If you want to ensure that your loved ones and estate are properly protected following your death, you should not delay in consulting with an experienced St. Charles attorney to discuss your estate planning options. We are committed to helping every individual choose the estate plan that best fits their needs, so please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a consultation today. Call (636) 947-3600.
Practical and cost-effective estate planning legal advice & advocacy to every client we serve in St Louis County, Lincoln County and St. Charles County Missouri