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

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). But, for better … Read more

Always Have a Backup: Planning for Contingencies In Your Estate Plan

If you have a backup of your hard drive or a portable generator for emergencies, you know the value of a backup. Most of the time, Plan A works just fine. However, sometimes Plan A fails, and when that happens, a backup is important. In your estate plan, this same thing is true. I recommend … Read more

The Alternatives to Disinheriting a Child

The decision to disinherit a child must be a painful decision–oftentimes, a relationship has been broken, maybe beyond the point of being salvaged. These decisions are very personal, and I’ve gotten some negative reactions when I’ve asked folks about those decisions (although I promise I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important). If you’re preparing an … Read more

Estate Planning to Minimize Family Conflicts

Last month, LearnVest author Kristin Appenbrink wrote about estate planning and family friction in For the Love of Family: 6 Tales of Estate Planning Gone Wrong. It’s a good read, and it brings up the question of how we can plan estates to help minimize family tensions when a family member dies. Of course, we can’t … Read more

Independent or Supervised Administration?

Estate planning is full of choices; some big, some small. On occasion, you’ll run into one of those choices that looks small–if you read over someone’s will, you might miss this choice–that could become big when it’s time to administer your estate. Today, we’re going to talk about one of those choices: independent administration or … Read more