Once again last week I got to explain to a client that Wills only work through the probate system.  A very, very nice lady came in with her elderly mother’s will.  It had been prepared by an out of town firm by a lawyer recommended by a financial planner.  The will was simple, but valid.  When…

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The short answer is Yes.  There are two reasons why – the legal one, and the practical one: Legally, in Missouri, and most other states, you must be a licensed attorney in order to represent anyone except yourself.  In a probate proceeding you are representing the “estate”, even if there is only one child or…

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Many times wills do absolutely nothing.  Consider this sad, true story, modified only slightly: I received a call from a client a little while back.  We’ll call her Suzy.  Her father had died four years ago.  He left a Will that said, in essence, I leave everything to my wife should she survive, and if not to…

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On the passing of a loved one the State of Missouri issues a “Death Certificate”, a document that is important for a variety of reasons.  It contains much biographical information, and is relied upon by insurance companies, financial institutions, and others in paying benefits, transferring ownership, and documenting the date of death.  It is also…

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We are often asked about what happens when one dies without a will in Missouri. The better question should be something like “What happens when one dies without a will, a trust, or any other mechanism to transfer my assets and property?” The answer is a little complicated. Again, we are assuming that property, assets, etc.…

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