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Category Archives: Wills

Missouri Real Estate Titles – Adding a Family Member’s Name

George called my office this afternoon.  His sister, Billie had been appointed as the Personal Representative of his mother’s estate a week ago.  According to him Mom had a “simple will” leaving everything to her three children equally.  He found out by word of mouth that Mom had “put Betty’s name on the title” (Betty is his other sister).  When I asked him what that meant he didn’t know.  He didn’t know if it was a Beneficiary Deed, or if she had recorded a Deed transferring all of a part of the property to Betty prior to death.  Further, when I explained that there were several possibilities and that I really couldn’t answer without more information he got rather upset with me.  Hopefully he will either let me assist him, or he’ll find out and call me back.  The answers are likely readily available, but I couldn’t even give him an educated guess.

Mom likely made a mistake.  Regardless of the type of transfer it will override her will, and apparently disrupt her Estate Plan.  George will probably be mad, and left at Betty’s mercy in terms of carrying out Mom’s wishes.

It is rarely a good idea to add a child’s name to the property ownership.  It creates problems with the ultimate distribution, and depending on how it’s done, may create tax issues and liability problems.  Trust based plans normally are the better choice.

Feel free to contact us with questions.

What is a “Pour Over Will”?

A “Pour Over” will is a document that is used as a supporting document in a Trust Based Estate Plan.  Trust based plans rely on “funding” or “retitling” of your assets, property, bank accounts, etc.  A Pour Over Will is a backup instrument that is intended to take care of anything that was not funded properly, whether… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

The Myth of the Simple Will in Missouri

Time and time again we get phone calls from people stating they want us to prepare a “simple will” for them. Time and time again my response is that they are likely wrong. The simple truth is that simple wills do very, very little. To be sure, there are few, limited situations where they make… Continue Reading

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