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Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

Missouri estate planning: Do you have a health care directive?

No one in Missouri can predict the future. No one knows if or when they might suffer a medical issue that leaves them incapacitated. Sadly, it happens, and if one lacks the proper estate planning documents, one's wishes may not be known or honored.

Yes, having an estate plan is a good idea

Some Missouri residents like to live in the moment and not plan too far ahead. Then there are others who do prefer to plan things out several years in advance. Whether you are a planner or a live in the moment kind of person, there is one plan you may benefit from having sooner rather than later -- an estate plan. No one wants to think about their own incapacitation or death, but failing to have a plan in place for when either of these things occurs can leave your family in chaos.

Don't make these estate planning mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life. It is how people grow and learn. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning, there is no room for errors. Mistakes will cost Missouri residents and their loved ones a lot in the end. Here are a few of the most commonly seen estate planning mistakes.

Estate planning for when sibling rivalry is an issue

It can be tough to see one's children fail to get along. Sometimes, there is nothing a parent can do, though, but let them try and work through things on their own. When it comes to protecting one's estate when sibling rivalry is an issue, there are some optional estate planning steps Missouri residents can take in order to make sure their wants and wishes are known, and to help avoid conflict during the estate administration process.

Will electronic wills replace estate planning?

Heard of electronic wills? These are wills people make online on their own, and then have witnesses and/or a notary E-sign the digital documents. In other words, it is just another do-it-yourself will; it is just never printed. As more people in Missouri and elsewhere are looking for ways to save time and money, this form of estate planning seems ideal. Will E-wills eventually replace estate planning altogether?

Missouri estate planning: Talking about one's plans

There are many benefits to having an estate plan in place, yet many Missouri residents do not. Those who do might be inclined to keep the details of their plans to themselves. While no one really wants to go through the estate planning process, let alone talk to loved ones about it, according to a recently published article, talking about it with one's beneficiaries may be a good idea. 

What if you die without a will?

Despite the advice offered up by estate planning experts in Saint Charles for people to do their estate planning early on in their adult lives, a majority of adults still do not have even a will that details how their assets are to be distributed when they die. Your reason for putting off creating your will may be the hope that if you do not create such a document, it will be left to your heirs to decide how to divide your estate (that way, you do not have to worry about offending anyone). Yet that simply is not the case. Rather, if you die without a will (the legal term is for this is "intestate"), it is the state that determines the dispersal of your estate. 

New marriage, new estate plan

It is no longer uncommon for a person in Missouri to get married more than one time over the course of their life. This may be due to the death of a previous spouse or to a divorce. Regardless of the reason that leads a person to get remarried, it is important that they make it a priority to review their estate plans in detail with their new partner.

Probating small estates in Missouri

Most in Saint Charles have likely heard horror stories about the probate process and how it should be avoided at all costs. Indeed, the probate process can prove costly (depending on how long the administration process takes to complete). The funds to pay probate-related costs come directly from an estate’s assets. Given that (according to the Survey of Consumer Finances) the median estate amount in the U.S. is $69,000, this may cause concern that a significant portion of an estate’s assets might go towards paying for probate. Yet those concerns may be unfounded given that Missouri state law allows for smaller estates to bypass the probate process altogether. 

Removing or replacing a personal representative

A person’s choice of their personal representative may be one of the most important decisions involved in the estate planning process. This is the individual (or in the same cases, the parties) that will be charged with ensuring that one’s final wishes are carried out to their exact specifications. Thus, one should be sure that the person(s) they select are aptly capable of fulfilling the role. Still, circumstances may occur which necessitate the removal of a personal representative during the estate administration process. 

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