Estate Planning Law Firm in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and NebrasksaAt Stange Law Firm, our planning attorneys have years of experience helping people like you create comprehensive estate plans that protect their families and assets. We understand that every family is unique, and we take the time to get to know you and your specific needs to create a plan that will work for you.Some of the estate planning services we offer include:
- Wills: A will is a legally binding document that states how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. If you die without one in place, Missouri law will determine how your property is divided. This is a risk as their decisions may not be in accordance with your wishes.
- Trusts: A trust is a legal entity that can be used to hold assets on behalf of another person. Trusts avoid probate, minimize taxes, and protect assets from creditors, making them a great option for a variety of purposes.
- Elder Law: Elder law planning is a way to protect seniors and their families as they age. This type of planning includes estate planning, asset protection, long-term care planning, and more.
- Special Needs Planning: Special needs planning is a way to ensure that a person with special needs will be taken care of financially and emotionally if something were to happen to their caregiver. This type of planning can include creating a special needs trust.
What Are Common Assets to Include in an Estate Plan?Our clients often ask what types of assets should be included in their estate plans. Our response usually depends on what is sought to be accomplished with the assets.The most common assets people choose to include in their estate plan are:
- Real estate – including your home, vacation property, and rental property
- Vehicles – including traditional cars, trucks, motorcycles, personal boats, and RVs/other camping equipment
- Retirement accounts – including 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions
- Investment accounts – including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
- Bank accounts – including checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts
- Business interests – including the ownership of a small business or partnership
- Personal property – including jewelry, art, collectibles, and family heirlooms
- Life insurance policies – including whole life or term policies
What Obstacles Are There to Creating an Estate Plan?People face several common obstacles when trying to create an estate plan. These obstacles can make the process seem daunting and even impossible. However, with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can overcome these obstacles and create a plan that will honor your family’s most intimate wishes.Some of the most common obstacles to estate planning are:
- Not knowing where to start: Estate planning can seem overwhelming, especially if you have never done it before. However, an estate planning lawyer will share what decisions need to be made early on, and what documents need to be prepared. They will take you through each step in the process to keep stress at a minimum while making progress on your estate.
- Procrastination: Many people put off estate planning because they think it is something that can be done later. However, it’s an important part of taking care of your loved ones and protecting your assets. If you wait too long to create a plan, it could be too late.
- Not having enough assets: Some people think that they do not need to create an estate plan because they do not have enough assets. However, estate planning is not just for people with a lot of money. Everyone in St. Louis can benefit from having a plan in place.
- Not knowing whom to include: Many people are not sure whom to include in their estate plan. However, a St. Louis estate planning attorney can help you identify the people who should be included in your plan based on your specific goals and needs.
- Not having enough time: It’s true that if you were to create an estate plan on your own, it would take a significant amount of time. That’s why the profession of estate planning legal counsel exists – to take care of the heavy lifting for you. This way, you can be confident that your plan is comprehensive and tailored to your unique situation without having to spend hours researching and drafting documents yourself.