Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm in St. Louis
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Trusted Estate Planning Advisers & Elder Law Advocates Protecting Your Health, Finances & Family

Ballwin Estate Planning Attorneys

Design an Estate Plan Today

The best way to start planning for the future is to design your estate plan today. An estate plan not only protects your beneficiaries from experiencing the costly probate process, it also guarantees that your healthcare preferences and end-of-life choices are safeguarded in the event of a medical emergency.

At Wiseheart Kaiser Law Firm, our lawyers can help you design an estate plan that accurately reflects your financial, medical, and personal interests. We don’t just print out cookie-cutter legal documents for you to sign; we develop comprehensive plans that serve as your legal advocate in unfavorable situations.

Ready to design your estate plan? Contact Wiseheart Kaiser Law Firm today at (314) 966-2226.

What’s Included in Your Estate Plan?

An estate planning attorney can help you compile all the necessary legal documents you need to complete your estate plan. These documents function as legal directives to ensure your estate is managed per your wishes.

Your estate plan may include a:

  • Will
  • “Pour-over” will
  • Trust (revocable and irrevocable)
  • Advanced health care directive
  • Durable power of attorney for finances
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare

Additional or alternative legal documents can be included in your estate plan depending on your personal circumstances. It’s essential to contact an estate planning attorney to learn which documents can best represent your estate.

What Is Probate?

The purpose of probate court is to ensure that any remaining taxes and debts are paid before your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries. Probate court also validates your will and appraises your property and assets in their entirety. If you don’t have a will, your next of kin will automatically inherit what remains of your estate. If you do have a will, your chosen beneficiaries will divide your estate per your wishes.

Your probate estate may include:

  • Financial accounts
  • Property
  • Jewelry
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles

The Importance of Trusts

Our firm can help you form revocable and irrevocable trusts that bypass the probate process. Unfortunately, probate court is expensive and it can take 6-9 months to complete the process. During this time, your beneficiaries are unable to access their financial inheritance and may have to pay out-of-pocket legal fees.

A revocable living trust allows you to relinquish ownership of your assets while remaining the trustee. You have full control over the trust and can alter or revoke it at any time. The assets belong to the trust, so probate court can’t touch them. Upon your death, your beneficiary can inherit the trust almost immediately and completely bypass probate court.

An irrevocable trust also protects your assets from probate court; however, you are not the controlling trustee and the trust can’t be revoked or altered. While less popular, this trust option has the benefit of protecting assets from state, federal, and estate taxes.

Nevertheless, probate court still has access to any property or assets you neglect to place into a trust. This is why it’s important to update your estate plan every few years.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Contact Wiseheart Kaiser Law Firm to schedule your free consultation. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience and can design a plan that thoroughly reflects your needs and interests.

Schedule your free consultation by calling our Ballwin estate planning lawyers at (314) 966-2226.

Contact the Wiseheart Kaiser Law Firm

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