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

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

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

Talking to Your Spouse About Estate Planning

I see a lot of married couples in my practice, and I’ve noticed that usually one of the spouses is more interested in the process than the other. That’s okay–I don’t expect both spouses to be fascinated by estate planning–but I think that the process works best when both spouses participate. If you’re interested in … 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

IRA Charitable Rollovers Become Permanent

On December 18, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH, because of course every law has to have a cute acronym) Act, which made a variety of tax law changes. Among┬áthose changes: making IRA charitable rollovers (also known as “qualified charitable distributions,” which is the more accurate name, so we’re going to … Read more