Do You Really Need A Lawyer for Estate Planning?

We live in a time when doing it yourself is extremely popular. Entire television channels have cropped up around it. My wife comes up with all sorts of ideas from something called Pinterest. I have personally gone to YouTube for tutorials on clothes dryer and car repairs (I even sort of did them right!). And … Read more

Donating Organs in Missouri

In the United States, roughly 118,000 people await organ transplants. New people are being added to that list everyday–and, unfortunately, some die while waiting, roughly 8,000 people in the U.S. each year. In addition to organs, you can donate various body tissues–tendons, veins, skin, to help people who need those tissues. Of course, in many … Read more

Adding transfer on death beneficiaries on car titles in Missouri

Image of rusted car

We’ve talked a whole lot on this blog about avoiding probate, and the different ways you keep assets out of probate. As we’ve discussed before, one way to do this is to add beneficiaries to property when you can. Sometimes, your opportunities to do this are really obvious, like when you get a beneficiary designation … Read more

Should I have co-executors for my estate?

For most people, I think it makes more sense to have just one executor handling an estate. However, like most estate planning decisions, there’s not one right answer for everybody. So, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of having multiple executors: Advantages of having co-executors Minimizes complaints of favoritism Siblings spend a lot of … Read more

Will the estate tax change under the Trump administration?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock that conceals a vast underground bunker where no television, radio, or internet (especially the internet) is available, you’ve probably heard that we have a new president: Donald Trump. In addition to Trump, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have Republican majorities. Some of you are no … Read more

The simultaneous death rule in Missouri

We spend a lot of time in this blog talking about dealing with the worst-case scenario–your death or prolonged disability. What might be even worse, though, is a situation when your heirs die at the same time you do. And sadly, this does happen sometimes. CNBC points out that recently there have been some high-profile … Read more

Paying for Long-Term Care

One of the common misconceptions about estate planning is that it only matters once the person who did the planning has died. It’s understandable, what with the word “estate” in there, but estate plans can definitely affect you while you’re still alive. In the past, we’ve talked about planning for incapacity, but another issue is … Read more

What does “per stirpes” mean?

Sometimes, law seems like its own language. Part of that is because lawyers and judges like to drop in jargon or Latin where it isn’t really necessary (“inter alia” is one of my pet peeves–just say “among other things!” I could write a book about my irritation with this, so let’s stop here).┬áBut, for better … Read more