Estate Planning FAQ’s

Making end-of-life decisions is not everyone’s favorite topic, but it can help relieve the burden of tough decisions for your loved ones, after you pass. Ensure your wishes are carried out with a legally sound estate plan at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our estate planning attorney in Camden County, MO gets a lot of questions surrounding this sensitive topic and we’re here to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions.


What is my estate?

The term “estate” is sometimes thought of as being your home – where you live, but that’s not entirely the case in the legal world of estate planning, where it is defined as being all property someone owns at the time of death. Whether it’s investments, real estate or personal property, there are many more items included in a probate estate than a home.

Should I hire an attorney to draft me estate planning documents?

There are resources available to draft an estate plan but unfortunately, many of these documents don’t contain the necessary items required to legally carry out the plan. It’s best to consult advice from an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure the correct documentation is in place for your end of life wishes to be fulfilled.

How do I decide upon an executor?

The person who executes your wishes is not a position to choose lightly. This individual should be someone who knows your wishes (or knows where to access this information) and someone whom you trust.

Can I leave my money to a charity?

Absolutely. Many individuals choose to leave assets to an organization or charity they care about. Whether its because they have no close family or because they feel the money could be better spent by a charitable organization, a donation is a popular option for many estate plans.

Am I allowed to include my pet in my estate plan?

Our furry friends become family and it’s important that the right person cares for your pet, after you pass. You can appoint someone to care for your pet and include that information in a trust to ensure your wishes are carried out.


Does a Will keep my property out of probate?

Not necessarily. A property executed Will, without doing more, will serve the goal of getting your property to the specific people and other entities that you want it to go to (as opposed to the distribution that Missouri statutes have set forth in the absence of a Will), but it will still have to go through the probate process in order to get “activated”. If you are not utilizing a Trust, then designating all of your assets with a non-probate transfer such as “transfer on death” or “payable on death” is necessary in order to avoid the probate process.

Estate planning is an important task, but many people put it off due to the sensitivity of the topic. If you’re thinking about creating an estate plan near Osage Beach, MO, you may have some questions of your own. Contact O’Donnell Law Center and let us know your questions about the estate planning process.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

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

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