The future is uncertain and unpredictable. No one knows the day or time – we may enjoy a long life or pass away well before our time. We cannot change what the future holds for us, but we can lessen the impact by planning. Having an estate plan is the best way to ensure the proper distribution of your estate. It I the only way to conclusively know who will inherit your property. We will develop a plan that gives you peace of mind in knowing that your family and loved ones are cared for subject to your wishes. Whether you have a family home, multiple dwellings, a single investment, or a large portfolio, life insurance, and/or annuities, we will develop an appropriate estate plan designed just for you. Our St. Louis Estate Planning attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher Bent, will discuss your individual needs to ensure that you have the most appropriate estate plan.
Common Threads in Estate Plans
An estate is comprised of property, including, but not limited to real estate, investments, life insurance and other financial instruments. Surprisingly, a large number of people with significant holdings, do not have an estate plan. Meaning, there is nothing mandating the precise distribution of the decedents assets upon their demise. Some have wills, but wills are subject to probate, which is time consuming, difficult and often complicated. Simply stated, probate is not an efficient, cost effective distribution of a decedents assets. There is a much better way to accomplish this objective.
We will make an estate plan that is as unique as your circumstance. Your estate plan may address issues such as:
- Beneficiaries and heirs of unique property.
- Name(s) of guardians for your children.
- The amount of funds that will be reserved for the special care of a loved one.
- How to transfer control of your business upon death.
- How to minimize the impact of taxes on your estate.
When considering making an estate plan with our St. Louis estate planning attorney, keep in mind that everyone needs to have an estate plan, to minimize legal burdens upon death. Having an estate plan is not reserved for the elderly. There is no minimum or maximum income requirement for an estate plan. Your wishes today, may be different in 10 or 20 years from now. Estate plans are not static – it may need to be adjusted as you grow older and have children, grandchildren and/or develop special healthcare needs. As years go on and new life developments occur, you will most likely need to review and rewrite portions of your estate plan.
Trust Planning for Now & Later
In many instances, a will is not enough to address all of your planning needs. A well written trust coupled with a valid will may be an appropriate means to address your planning needs. The terms of a Trust become effective the moment it is signed, as opposed to waiting until the testator passes away, as is the case with a will. If you want to transfer property upon death, talk to our St. Louis estate planning lawyers. Whether you need a living will, revocable or irrevocable trust, special needs trust, long term health care plan or elder care plan or a last will and testament, we can plan an appropriate estate plan tailored to meet your needs.
Top-Quality, Experienced Estate Planning Representation
Attorney Christopher Bent is a member of both the Missouri State Bar and the Illinois State Bar, allowing him to accept cases from either state, not just the Missouri-side of the Mississippi River. He is also a member of the Wealth Counsel, a national network of estate planning attorneys dedicated to providing resources designed to assist member attorneys with developing estate plans for nationwide clients.