The Importance Of Drafting A Will

Lots of people put off making a will because they either mistakenly believe they do not need one or simply never get around to it. Unfortunately, people give up lots of control over their estate plan when they neglect to make a will.

Most people with assets need wills and an estate plan, but not everyone takes the time to make one. They leave families struggling to deal with both their loss and the question of what to do next.

What Happens Without A Will?

When people die without a will in Missouri, their death is declared intestate, and Missouri’s revised statutes of intestacy define the asset distribution process. This can create significant problems for families, particularly when children are involved. An administrator then has to oversee the process, which may not be the ideal situation.

At my law office in Chesterfield, Missouri, I help individuals and families create customized estate plans suited to their needs. I represent clients across St. Charles County and St. Louis County.

Will Basics

Ideally, drafting wills and trust documents is something to be taken seriously and with full knowledge of all options. Consider the following information about wills as you think about your estate planning goals.

  • Wills do NOT avoid probate.
  • Wills affect any asset in a person’s name that is not held jointly, in a trust, or is not designated to go by a transfer on death (TOD), or payable on death (POD) or other beneficiary designation.
  • Wills can designate the personal representative (executor/executrix) who is in charge of gathering assets, paying final bills and distributing assets according to your wishes, under the purview of the Probate Division (Court).
  • One has a choice in a will of electing a simplified administration or one supervised by the court.
  • Wills can designate the guardian for children under 18.
  • Wills can designate the trustee for funds one elects not to distribute to a beneficiary immediately on one’s death.
  • Wills must be probated in the county in which the deceased person resided, and a probate proceeding must occur in any county and state in which real estate was owned.

Too many people view creating a will as unnecessary or too morbid to consider. Sadly, their families soon discover how important it can be to have a thorough will.

Schedule A Free Consultation To Get Started On Your Will Today.

Regardless of the size of your estate or complexity of estate planning issues, I am ready to help you preserve your and your loved ones’ interests. By drafting a will that stands up to scrutiny, I can ensure that your desires are explicitly defined. The combination of directly working with my clients and a full understanding of the most common mistakes to avoid has allowed me to help hundreds of families reach success in estate planning.

I want to help you do the same. To discuss Missouri estate planning in a free initial consultation with me, Chesterfield wills and trusts lawyer Susan E. Hamra, call 636-898-5881 or 800-243-8084 or email Hamra Law Firm, LLC.