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Reviewing your options when it comes to trusts

If you have decided to create an estate plan, this could be a very important move that not only helps protect your assets but makes things easier for your loved ones in the future. However, there may be a lot of different options in front of you and you could be unsure of which type of trust is best. In this post, we will briefly cover some of the different trusts that people set up, and it is important to find one that will suit your needs best. Once you have figured out which type of trust makes the most sense, you can take important steps to ensure that your estate will be managed properly.

First of all, it is important to review the differences between revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. You may also want to look into constructive trusts, spendthrift trusts, asset protection trusts and charitable trusts. If one of your loved ones has special needs, a special needs trust may be an excellent way to make sure that they do not lose eligibility for crucial government assistance that they count on as a beneficiary of your trust. These are just some of the options that are on the table and it is essential to carefully go over all types of trusts before settling on one in particular.

What should residents know about your HOA?

If you are a HOA representative, you probably have experience with Missouri homeowners contesting the rules of your HOA. Even though newcomers may appear to give homeowners’ association rules a good review before they buy a home in a HOA neighborhood, it may not be long before new residents chafe at the requirements. One way to cut down on conflict between homeowners and your HOA is to make sure new homeowners are aware of how your HOA operates and what it requires before they move in.

Per Realtor.com, when a newcomer starts investigating your HOA, it is a good idea for them to learn about the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) of your HOA. Basically, a new home owner should know your HOA rules, what is prohibited, and what kind of changes can be made to a house. If the rules are simple, a prospective new resident may have no problem buying a home in your neighborhood. Rules that are more complex, however, could alienate potential new residents.

Grounds for evicting a tenant in Missouri

Missouri eviction laws heavily favor tenants, as most states' eviction laws do these days. For this reason, it is imperative that a landlord understands both is or her rights and obligations to the tenant. If a landlord acts without first pursuing state statutes or consulting with an attorney, he or she runs the risk of violating a tenant's rights and therefore, forfeiting rights to his or her property.

According to Missouri's Landlord Tenant Law, a pamphlet courtesy of Missouri Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, a landlord must have a court order to evict a tenant. To obtain a court order, said landlord must be able to establish grounds for eviction. Missouri recognizes nine grounds for eviction. 

When your spouse objects to creating an estate plan

Setting up an estate plan can be tricky for different reasons, whether you have difficulty naming beneficiaries or even deciding which type of estate plan you should go with. In some instances, people may even have uncertainty about the very idea of creating an estate plan, or their spouse may disagree with this decision. It is important to approach the estate planning process carefully, and you should discuss relevant matters with your spouse if they will be included in your estate plan.

There are number of reasons why someone may object to their spouse or partner setting up an estate plan. Even though this can be an excellent financial decision, especially when it comes to preparing for the future, some people do not like to think about these issues. Moreover, some people may feel as if estate planning is a stressful process and they cannot handle these concerns at this time. For example, someone may be overwhelmed with work, and they may want to spend more time with their spouse during the creation of a will or trust.

What is a charitable trust?

If giving back to your Missouri community, such as your church, library, favorite charity, etc., makes up a large part of your life, you may want to establish a charitable trust so you can donate to this organization in a more structured way. The same may hold true for your alma mater or other worthwhile organization.

Fidelity.com explains that a charitable trust makes a great vehicle for allowing you to fulfill your philanthropic goals while benefitting yourself at the same time. For each trust you establish, you can name two beneficiaries, a charitable beneficiary and a noncharitable one. Your designated organization becomes your charitable beneficiary, but you can name any person you want, including yourself, as your noncharitable beneficiary.

If you are Catholic, can you have a green burial?

A “green burial” calls to many people as a purer spiritual and fundamentally human experience. These burials avoid the use of embalming fluids, synthetic caskets and excessive resources. But is it possible to do this in line with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church?

As it happens, the two work well together. The complicating factor is the role of individual cemeteries.

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

Owning a rental property can be a fantastic way to generate extra income and diversify your financial portfolio. After investing in a property and finding good tenants, being a landlord can be an easy and enjoyable experience.

But with the benefits of becoming a landlord, there are responsibilities – someone else’s shelter is in your hands. Here are some things to know before investing in a rental property.

Late singer's heirs seek to administer his estate

In certain estate cases, administration may go far beyond simply detailing who gets what asset immediately after a testator's death. For those estates in Saint Charles that count artistic or intellectual properties amongst their assets, their management may extend for decades. This is something that one should consider when selecting an executor or personal representative. The role could potentially outlive the one it is assigned to, in which case a testator would want to detail the process for which a new executor would be selected. 

A failure to do so could result in contention arising amongst those who are party to an estate. That appears to be what has happened with the estate case of the late blues singer Muddy Waters. His heirs are claiming that they are owed $2 million in royalties from the continued use of Waters' catalog of music. The oversight appears to have occurred after the president of the management company that had administered the catalog (who was also the executor of Waters' estate) died in 2015. Since that time, his widow has failed to appear for hearings in regards to the estate's administration. Due to the lack of action in the case, Waters' heirs asked that its administration be reopened, with his daughter appointed as administrator. This prompted the late executor's widow to file a countersuit, saying the singer's original will barred any of his descendants from becoming administrators. 

Types of special needs trusts

Missouri residents who have a child with some type of disability that will require special care for the life of that child will want to pay close attention to their options when making an estate plan. As explained by Kiplinger, a special needs trust is one of the vehicles that may provide good options for families in this situation. 

A special needs trust allows assets to be put into the trust for the benefit of the special needs child. One of the biggest benefits of this type of trust versus simply saving the money in a bank account is that it cannot be used against the child in the determination of their benefits for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. For both of these programs, the child's assets would be reviewed. However, if there is a special needs trust, the assets in the trust do not become part of this evaluation.

What is an unlawful detainer?

As a Missouri landlord, you may occasionally encounter tenants who disobey the rules and do not live up to their obligations. If the violation is serious enough, you have the right to begin the process of eviction. The process starts with a written notice that informs your tenant of the default and gives him or her a reasonable amount of time in which to fix it. Unlawful detainer refers to the act of remaining in possession of the property without fixing the default within the time allotted. In this situation, you may seek assistance from the court to remove your tenant and retake possession of your property. 

According to FindLaw, unlawful detainer action is a process. Before the court can serve your tenant with papers, you must petition the court to do so and submit a small fee for filing purposes. In many cases, the court will then schedule a hearing and allow the tenant the opportunity to present any defenses he or she may have by either attending the hearing in person or submitting a written answer. The court will take any defense that your tenant offers into consideration and make a determination as to whether the eviction is valid. However, if your tenant neither attends the hearing nor submits a written defense, the court will automatically conclude the hearing in your favor. 

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