In Missouri and throughout the entire United States more people are living in "blended" families. Divorced couples are re-marrying and bringing their children from previous marriages into their new lives. Estate planning is essential for such families to determine how the property will be divided among the heirs when either parent passes away.
The foundation of any estate trust, whether created in Missouri or elsewhere, is an agreement. It lays down the method of estate management, planning and distribution while the settlor is alive and even after death. A revocable living trust is established during the lifetime of the settlor. These types of trusts are unique because settlors reserve the amendment and revocation rights regarding the trust during their lifetime.
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.
Most Americans, including those in Missouri, prefer to control their assets during their lifetime. However, some people do not specifically plan what to do with these assets after they pass away. That is when disputes can arise between family members and loved ones who want a share of these assets.
The legal aspects of growing old are sometimes not visible once age sets in. Often, it is the descendants who are left to deal with such affairs as estate planning, which can lead to protracted battles over who inherits what. In some unfortunate cases, there is the possibility of fallouts over such remittances, which only complicates the legal dispute. And then there are cases where, even though living, the elderly are incapacitated to such a degree that they can only watch while their estate planning is debated and divided in faraway courts.
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.
As many Missouri residents are likely aware, the purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that a person's final wishes are carried out. Every estate planning documents serves to meet that purpose -- wills, living wills and trusts all state what should be carried out upon a person's death.