When people plan for retirement, they don't necessarily think about estate planning. People often focus on investments to use in their advanced years. They do not think about what will happen if they pass away.
Most people who have something they want to leave behind to relatives or close friends understand that Missouri law requires them to leave a will or trust or some other legal device that clearly states their intentions. If they do not, their assets and properties go into the hands of the state for distribution. Sometimes these assets and properties eventually end up with these relatives or friends, but not always.
A Missouri living will is an instrument by which an individual can provide instruction to temporarily withhold a medical treatment or completely stop it from carrying on any further. The legal system in Missouri allows individuals to use a declaration to authorize physicians or providers of health care to withhold or cease treatment under specific circumstances. The statement used in living wills has a specific format where the intent of the individual must be clearly explained.
There are many situations in which a person cannot communicate with his or her loved ones in order to express end-of-life wishes. If this situation occurs during a major illness or while in a hospital bed, such miscommunications may have grave repercussions. As a result, it may be advisable to make advance health care directives in order to let health professionals, as well as friends and family, know how one feels about the medical care that they want to receive.
A comprehensive estate plan requires that an individual understand the goals of the plan. The person must have thorough knowledge of the assets and should have a clear vision regarding the beneficiaries of the estate. Striking the right balance when preparing an estate plan is important and many St. Louis, Missouri residents would agree that achieving this balance can be challenging.
What options are available to St. Louis, Missouri residents who may be apprehensive that administration of healthcare issues may not be handled in the way they want, if they fall too ill to make decisions for themselves? One of the most common ways to make sure healthcare directives are implemented is to make living wills and assign selected agents with healthcare power of attorney to make decisions on the individual's behalf in case of incapacitation.
Preparing for old age does not come easily for most people, whether they live in St. Louis, Missouri, or elsewhere. While many of them have a vague idea that serious decisions need to be taken about the distribution of assets and settlement of liabilities, these are often put off for another day.
It is astonishing that although most American adults contemplate creating an estate plan, a recent survey concluded that only 44 percent have actually acted upon it. Unplanned estates may be subject to unnecessary probate litigation and may be divided according to state laws and not according to the wishes of the deceased. Planning an estate is absolutely crucial to ensuring desirable asset distribution. Several mechanisms, for instance, living trusts and financial and health care powers of attorney, are indispensable in estate planning.
Contrary to what the name might suggest, a living will is actually not a will in the traditional sense. Missouri residents may hear the word "will" and think of a document that designates beneficiaries and determines how assets are to be divided. A living will does none of this. Its sole purpose is to set forth a person's health care wishes so that they can be carried out should that person fall into a state in which they are no longer able to make decisions about such matters.
Getting engaged is an exciting moment in any person's life. Between meetings with caterers and addressing invites, however, it is important to set aside some time to talk about estate planning.