Our Estate Planning FAQs
Every family we meet has specific and unique questions about creating an estate plan. We have collected some of the most common questions we get and have answered them in detail to help you get a basic understanding of what and estate plan consists of. We invite you to read our FAQs and then give us a call.
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Is my child's 529 college savings plan protected from my creditors in Missouri?
No. Missouri does not protect the ownership of any type of 529 or other college savings plan from your creditors.
Call us now to learn more about a 529 Educational Savings Trust which can protect the money in your 529 College Saving Plan for your children.
How long does probate take in Missouri?
The probate process varies case by case depending on the nature of the assets (real estate, businesses, out of state property), the number of beneficiaries, whether there are liabilities of the estate that need to be paid, and what county the probate process takes place.
The typical time frame is between 6 months and 18 months.
Does having a will avoid probate in Missouri?
No. When a person dies in Missouri with a will, the will must be admitted to the Probate Court in the county where the decedent lived.
Once the will is determined to be valid by the Court, then the person named in the will as the Executor or Personal Representative has the legal authority to gather and value the assets owned by the estate, pay the decedent’s bills and taxes and ultimately distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will.
I am single, living in St. Louis, and I want to add my son's name to my home as a joint owner. What are the pros and cons?
In St. Louis, the main advantage of adding your son's name to your house is that doing so will avoid probate and make it easier for him to take possession of your home upon your death.
The main disadvantage is that your home will be subject to any claims for your son's debts and could even come into the picture if he were to get divorced.
In Missouri, may I name more than one executor?
Yes. In Missouri, you may name more than one person to serve as the executor. These persons are called co-executors. This structure may work in some cases. However, because both co-executors often must agree on all decisions (and sign everything) it may create more problems than it is worth.
You should discuss this co-executor issue with your attorney.
If I do not make a will, will the State of Missouri receive my property?
No. Under these circumstances, the State of Missouri will usually not take your property. However, if you don’t make a will, the State of Missouri will decide who gets your property.
If you die without a will and your relatives cannot be found, then the State of Missouri may get your property.
In Missouri, can I disinherit my children?
Yes. In Missouri, if you have children, you are not required to leave them any portion of your property. A common misunderstanding is that you must leave each child at least one dollar.
You may simply state, “I have intentionally failed to provide for my son, Matthew.”
By having a Revocable Trust in Missouri, will my assets be protected if I am sued?
No! The assets in your Revocable Trust are still considered your own personal assets while you are alive as you control and benefit from the assets in your trust. As such, a creditor can attach their judgment to your assets in your Revocable Trust.
Learn more by downloading our free report 10 Questions You Should Ask About Protecting Your Assets in Missouri.
In Missouri, what happens to my Mom’s and Dad’s property if they die without a will?
When there is no Last Will and Testament of a person who dies, then there will be a court proceeding in the county where they lived at the time of death.
The law of the State of Missouri will determine the persons entitled to share in the distribution of their property.