Category archive: Probate

Back To The Basics/Recap – Do I Need An Estate Plan?

Hello loyal readers! We are a little over half-way through the first year of our Wealth Planning Blog now, and with the close of the summer quickly approaching, kids going back to school, and life going back to “normal,” we thought it might be a good time to go back to the basics and discuss…

Charitable, Religious and Legacy Bequests

As we progress throughout our lives, we seek meaning in our family, social, religious and work relationships. “The future must be seen in terms of what a person can do to contribute something, to make something better, to make it go where he believes with all his being it ought to go.” – Frederick R….

Avoiding The Perils of Probate

Whether you are an expert in probate and have dealt with it on multiple occasions or a rookie, we can all agree on one thing: probate kind of sucks and should be and can be avoided. Let’s start with the basics: What is probate? Probate is a Court-guided process whereby a deceased individual’s financial affairs…

Under Missouri Law, Corporate Trustees are Easily Ousted

Historically, Missouri trust law prevented beneficiaries of a trust from replacing a trustee absent a showing that the trustee had committed a breach of trust. This law tended to insulate investors administering trusts from competition. Even if beneficiaries were dissatisfied with a corporate trustee who obtained average returns and charged high fees, they could not…

Estate Planning for the Brady Bunch

As if estate planning didn’t already seem complicated enough, blended families now make up a growing portion of our demographic and pose many additional considerations when trying to plan for the transition of their estate. When I started my practice as a wealth planning attorney, I would say about two out of ten families that…

Qualified Spousal Trusts – Transfer Your Family Home Today

When we meet with families, we not only try to recommend a customized estate plan that incorporates all of their desires, but we then proceed to hound them to get all of their “homework” done once their plan is in place. After all, signing the documents is only the first step. An “unfunded” estate plan…

Missouri’s Flexibility with (ir)Revocability

If you haven’t had the pleasure of administering someone’s trust estate yet, you are likely to either be involved in such an administration someday, or will have someone administering yours for you in the future. Many trusts being administered today, however, were drafted in the 80’s and 90’s and were never updated or revisited once…

Something Old, Something New

Over the years, estate and gift taxation has often been a see-saw of policy and tax rate changes. As administrations come and go, it seems so do the tax rates on estates and gifts. From 1 million to 5 million to unlimited millions, the administrations lead our planning to be based on a “best guess”…

Caretakers and Decision Makers: Planning for your Children

Children bring a lot of joy to a parent’s life, but also come with a great amount of responsibility and stress. Prior to children, my hardest decision was whether or not to cook dinner or eat out with friends. That decision is a cake walk compared to the decisions I now make as a parent:…

Trouble in Transition

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that is troublesome” By Isaac Asimov, American science fiction novelist and scholar Though it may not be exactly what Isaac Asimov meant, I couldn’t help but think about his quote this past week as my family faced the unexpected and WAY too soon passing of one…

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