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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Estate planning experts in Saint Charles continually stress the importance of your preparing a will. Yet equally as important as writing a will is ensuring that you have witnesses that can attest to it. The root cause of almost all will contest is objections to the validity of a will. Having witnesses in place proves to any interested parties to your estate that the provisions of your will are indeed valid. Without witnesses, you have what is known as a "holographic will," whose validity Missouri law does not recognize.
For many young people in Missouri, the thought of creating an estate plan may be far off in the future. In fact, they may think it is only something their parents or grandparents need to be concerned about. This, however, is quite incorrect. An estate plan can be of great use even to a young, single millennial.
An important element of estate planning may be understanding that whoever one chooses to serve as their personal representative could be in store in handling matters related to the role. That can go far beyond the duties involved with administering one's assets. In cases where an estate has intellectual or artistic properties (or notoriety in and around St. Louis is associated with the decedent), a personal representative may be called on months and even years after the decedent's death to protect their interests (or, in some cases, their reputation).
The primary motivation for many in Saint Charles to engage in estate planning is to ensure that all of the assets that they have worked so hard to accumulate throughout their lifetimes are able to benefit their chosen beneficiaries. However, there may be a concern amongst many that after having expended such effort, much of their estate will end up having to be paid in taxes (living little to pass on to heirs). Estate taxes are one of the most misunderstood aspects of the estate planning process, and thus much misinformation exists about this potential liability. Most will be pleased to learn, however, that with a little advanced planning, one might avoid having their estate taxed at all.
Like most in Saint Charles, you likely envision the estate planning process to be quite formal. After all, matters dealing with the dispersal of your assets ought not to be taken lightly, and should be given the attention and care they deserve. Yet this does not necessarily mean that the creation of a will has to be a complex process. There are actually several different types of wills, each varying in the format that they are delivered. The question then becomes which does Missouri state law consider to be valid?