Missouri residents have come to understand the importance of having their estate planning in order to protect not only their interests but also the interests of their children, grandchildren and spouse. State authorities have established various initiatives and awareness programs to emphasize the need to create a will, even for people who do not have a vast estate and properties. Even then, there are various instances in which the will that was drafted is found to be invalid by the court.
Under Missouri probate law, a minor child needs an adult, either a parent, or a court-appointed guardian, to assume responsibility for his or her care. Likewise, adults who have been deemed incapacitated due to mental deficiency also need guardians and conservators appointed by the Missouri probate court to manage their legal matters and be responsible for providing care.
Many people in St. Charles, Missouri, may think estate planning is only for the wealthy, which, to say the least, is not true. In fact, the lack of a comprehensive estate plan often leads to probate disputes, most often among members of the deceased's family. Sadly, even with a sound estate plan, probate issues, which may lead to probate litigation, arise, especially if the estate's value is high.
Due to the widespread media awareness campaigns, many people in St. Charles, Missouri, have started paying serious attention to estate planning. Wills are being updated and trusts established, so that future generations can avoid probate court, where a number of complications may arise. In spite of such measures, probate disputes are common and huge estates are not passed on to intended heirs, but to government coffers through inheritance taxes.
A person who dies without making a legal will is referred to as "intestate." In such cases, probate litigation is automatically applied because no automatic legal heir was established by the deceased as required by Missouri law. Probate litigation is for people who have died without any legal heir or claimant to their property or estate.
St. Charles, Missouri residents may have heard about cases where a parent dies and wealth transfers to a spouse who remarries and then dies, leaving property to the current spouse. Children from the first marriage are left with no inheritance, if the step-parent omits them from his or her will. This recounting shows the importance of planning an estate and drafting a will while a parent is alive.
A person's will and trust are extremely important to those they leave behind. Probate law applies after a person's death and the court identifies the deceased person's possessions, determining taxes and other administrative expenses, and finally allocating the property to legal heirs as directed in the will. If there is no legally binding will, the estate is divided according to state laws. Probate litigation means that the will is contested. Recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman's death revealed that he had prepared a will and trust.
Two weeks ago, we discussed how an executor should handle a strange-looking will. As we pointed out, when a will doesn't look right, there are several steps an executor can take to challenge it. Along those lines, we would like to share a story that shows the steps that a person on either side of a similar situation can take to resolve a dispute.