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Category Archives: Probate

Wills Do NOT Avoid Probate in Missouri!!

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 I asked her if she was really okay with her mother’s estate passing through probate a look of surprise and confusion came over her face.

I explained, as I have many times, that the best definition of a will is a “set of instructions to the probate court”.  I thought she was going to cry.  Apparently it had been quite an ordeal just to get the will completed and executed.

To be fair, there are times when probate has benefits, but they are fairly few and far between.  I have NEVER had a client come in and tell me they wanted to be sure their estate was probated.  I doubt that I ever will (no pun intended!)  The thought that Wills avoid Probate is very common, but also very wrong.

How do you avoid Probate?  There are several solutions, but, in many cases the use of a Trust Based Plan is the best answer.

Email us if you need more help or have questions about how to best avoid probate.

Missouri Wills that do NOTHING!

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… Continue Reading

Death Certificates in Missouri – How Many do I Order?

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… Continue Reading

Dying Without a Will in Missouri

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.… Continue Reading