What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that provides instructions for the distribution of your assets upon death.
The primary functions of a Will:
(1) Nominates someone to act as your Personal Representative.
(2) Names general and specific gifts.
(3) Provide instructions for your final remains.
(4) Nominates a Guardian for any minor children or dependants.
(5) If you have a Trust, your Will can move assets into your Trust.
What is a “Personal Representative?”
A Personal Representative oversees the administration of your estate after your death—specifically, those portions of your estate that are not in a Trust. Property not in a Trust must go through Probate court before beneficiaries can inherit it.
Probate is a court-controlled process for distributing the property of a deceased person. In Missouri, the fees associated with probate are set by law and based on the estate’s size. A Personal Representative would be responsible for hiring an attorney to handle this process. However, property in a Trust is not subject to Probate. Additionally, Probate is almost always more expensive than having a Trust formed (even for small estates). Because of the cost, time, and hurdles involved, we frequently advise clients to consider a Trust to avoid or minimize their exposure to Probate.
Who Should I Appoint as My Personal Representative?
Individuals can name a person, an institution (e.g., a bank or trust company), or both. We typically advise clients to select a family member or someone they trust that is capable and responsible. Likewise, it is advisable to include a few backup Personal Representatives if your first choice is unavailable.
What is a "Pour-over Will?"
You use a Pour-Over Will when your Estate Plan includes a Trust. Pour-Over Wills and Trusts work in a complementary fashion. When you pass away, if there are assets you have forgotten to move into your Trust, a Pour-Over Will directs those assets to be transferred into your Trust.
Approachable Estate Planning. From start to finish, we are here to shoulder the load and make Estate Planning easy!
Make an appointment
Call, text, or email and we will find a time that works with your schedule.
We discuss your life, family, financial situation, & Estate Planning goals. You do not need to bring anything.
You do nothing. Relax and we will prepare drafts of your documents in approximately 2 weeks.
Review & approval
You look over your documents. We answer questions and make any changes as needed.
Once your documents have met your satisfaction, you will sign the final drafts at our office. (In front of 2 witnesses and a notary–provided by us, of course).
Call, text, or email to speak to an attorney!