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

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

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

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

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

Estate Planning for Singles

When we talk about estate planning, I spend a lot of time talking about spouses and children. What about the single people? If anything, estate planning may actually be more important for single people, not less! Handling incapacity For married people, selecting someone to handle their financial affairs and medical decisions is usually pretty easy: generally … Read more