Friday, May 6, 2016

Your Three Options For Estate Planning

Estate planning remains one of the busiest practice areas at our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks. End of life is never an easy topic, but dedicating some time and attention to your end of life directives is essential in order to ensure that your assets and belongings pass to your heirs smoothly. Our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO and her legal staff are here to assist you in building a proper estate plan that will effectively meet your needs.


Your Estate Plan - 3 Choices

When it comes to setting up your estate plan, you have three primary options to choose from. You may do nothing, put together a will coupled with non-probate transfers, or establish a trust.

1. Doing Nothing
If you pass away without any sort of an estate plan in place, the State will determine what happens to your assets and who will receive what. This is called "dying intestate," and it can be very involved and time-consuming. Who receives your assets will depend on your surviving family. If you are single without any children, for example, your surviving parents will probably inherit your estate. If they are no longer living, it will be passed to your siblings. If you are married without children, your spouse will likely inherit your assets.

2. Designing A Will
Wills are basic estate planning documents that can be used to dictate what you want to happen to your property and assets after you pass away. Because they are unique among estate planning documents by allowing you to designate a legal guardian for your minor children, most estate planning experts strongly encourage parents of young or teenage children to establish a will. However, having a will does not prevent your estate from having to pass through probate upon your passing. However, an experienced estate planning lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks may be able to help you establish a will with a non-probate transfer. 

3. Establishing A Trust
Trusts offer several unique advantages for planning your estate. They allow you to protect your assets and keep your affairs private (even after your passing). A properly established trust also prevents your assets from having to pass through probate before they can be distributed to your heirs, which will significantly streamline the process. Trusts also allow you to dictate exactly when and what assets will be distributed to whom. For example, you may specify that the full value of your financial assets not be passed to your children until they reach a certain age. In some circumstances, trusts also help minimize taxes that arise after death.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Build Your Estate Plan

The extent of your estate planning is entirely up to you, but we strongly recommend that at least some form of action be taken. O'Donnell Law Center can help facilitate your end of life discussions. To learn more about how we can help you with your estate planning needs, visit our website or call us directly at 573-552-0317. We look forward to serving you.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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