Last Will & Testament
What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document containing your instructions and wishes as to how your property and assets are to be distributed after your death. In the State of Missouri, any person who is at least 18 years old and of sound mind can make a Will. There are additional legal requirements that must be met in order to create a valid Will in the State of Missouri.

One of the most common misconceptions about a Will is that it avoids probate of your assets. Contrary to public belief, a Will does not avoid the probate of your assets. Rather, a Will simply directs the disposition of your property upon your death and nominates a guardian for your minor children. Your Will must, however, be admitted and accepted by the probate court in order for your assets to be administered in accordance with the terms of your Will and your intended guardians for your minor children appointed. Assets that pass through the probate court system are available for the public to see and are subject to significant costs, expenses and time delays. It is possible to avoid the probate of your assets by using a Revocable Living Trust to own your assets or re-titling your property in other manners. The St. Louis, Missouri Wills attorneys at The Kaiser Law Firm, P.C. analyze each client's estate to determine the potential costs associated with the probate of the client's assets. The Kaiser Law Firm, P.C. will provide you with a specifically designed estate plan so that your assets are transferred in the most efficient and cost effective manner consistent with your wishes.

What Happens If I Die Without A Will?

If you die without a Will, the State of Missouri will direct how your property will be distributed upon your death. Accordingly, any property that you own at your death that is titled in your own name will pass to beneficiaries as determined by Missouri law, not by your wishes. The consequences can be directly contrary to your desires. Therefore, a significant benefit of executing a Will is to ensure that your property passes to the people you wish to receive your property and in the manner you desire.

If you do not have a Will and die while your children are minors, then the probate court will appoint a guardian who you may not want making decisions regarding the upbringing of your children and their care. By executing a valid Will you can nominate the individual or individuals that you want to care for your minor children. In addition, if you die in Missouri without a Will and you have minor children, your children will receive all of your property at the age of 21. It may not be prudent to leave all of your property to your children at the age of 21. You may wish to create trusts for their benefit during their lifetime so that your property remains in a protected environment for their benefit.

Plan Now! You have worked all of your life to provide for you and your family. Making sure you have an up to date Will is critical in order that you can be assured that you have planned for your loved ones. Without proper planning, your family members will encounter a great deal of difficulty in dealing with your estate. Contact the St. Louis, Missouri Wills attorneys at The Kaiser Law Firm, P.C. for a free initial estate planning consultation. We will listen to your specific concerns, answer your questions, advise you of the repercussions of not planning for your incapacity and death, and propose effective solutions to avoid these repercussions.

Lawyers at The Kaiser Law Firm, P.C., bring a family-friendly, community-oriented approach to the practice of law. View our attorney bios here.

If you need a lawyer who will listen to your concerns and provide the necessary experience and expertise to assist you in obtaining the results you seek, contact The Kaiser Law Firm, P.C. at (314) 966-7766 or email: Our attorneys represent clients in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St.Charles County and surrounding areas.
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