Our Business and Estate Planning FAQs
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How Much Can I Give Away Tax Free in 2018?
In 2018, each person can make a tax free gift of $15,000.00 in value per donee. Accordingly, a husband and wife could gift $30,000 to each of their children as a tax free gift in 2018. As a reminder, if you make a gift by check, the check needs to be deposited and cleared prior to the end of the year.
How Can I Avoid Probate?
How to Avoid Probate
Wills or Revocable Living Trusts
In simplest terms, Wills require probate, whereas revocable living trusts—when properly funded— avoid the probate process. Wills can be robust documents containing tax saving and asset protection strategies. However, wills memorialize the testator’s instructions for distributing assets at death only. Wills—absent the availability of a summary/small estate affidavit—require probate.
Revocable living trusts, on the other hand, become effective immediately upon creation and are vehicles for the management of assets of the trust creator (also called the settlor or grantor) during his or her lifetime, including during periods of incapacity and at death. Revocable living trusts also make it easier to distribute assets without court involvement at death. A trust can avoid probate when it owns all of the decedent’s assets or is otherwise the recipient of the assets upon his or her death using other probate-avoidance tools such as those discussed below.
When a decedent's trust does not own all, or become the recipient of, a Grantor’s assets at his or her assets at death, pour-over will is used to funnel any probate assets into the trust. Pour-over wills should be intended as a backup strategy.
Learn more about Revocable Living Trusts by downloading our Free Report, "Understanding the Basics of Revocable Living Trusts in Missouri."
What is Probate?
Probate, also called estate administration, is the judicial process by which a decedent’s assets (his or her estate) are distributed to his or her heirs or other devisees. Probate codes and procedures can vary from state-to-state.
If a decedent had a will, he or she is deemed to have died “testate,” and the will governs
the distribution of his or her assets. If a decedent did not have a will, he or she died “intestate,” and the decedent’s state’s laws of intestacy will determine who will get his or her assets.
In Missouri, Can I Disinherit My Child
Yes. If you have children, you are not required to leave them any portion of your estate. A common misunderstanding is that you must leave each child at least one dollar. Today, your Will may simply state, “I have intentionally failed to provide for my son, Josh.”
The Kaiser Law Firm handles the following types of cases:
- Estate Planning: Wills & Living Trusts
- Real Estate Transactions
- Family-Owned Businesses & Farms
- Powers of Attorney & Living Wills
- IRA & Retirement Planning
- Asset Protection & Business Planning
- Special Needs Planning
- Trust Administration & Probate
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Probate Assets in Missouri
YES. You will need to hire an attorney to assist you in the probate process if the probate estate is over $40,000. The probate estate consists of assets that a decedent owned in his or her own individual name and which do not pass by a valid beneficiary designation.