Everything you own will have to be distributed to someone else upon your death. If you do nothing, you will have no say in who gets your most prized physical possessions (or even in who will raise your children). Instead, the property will pass according to the pre-set plan established by the State for all persons who die without an estate plan. That’s why the very best thing you can do for your family is to prepare a comprehensive plan so that they are taken care of in the way that you want.
Here are a few of the legal documents you should have in order to best protect your family:
A will or a trust: Either one of these documents will name the person you want to handle your affairs when you are gone and who you want to receive your assets. This helps eliminate family feuds later. You can also include funeral arrangements and legal guardians for your minor children. A revocable living trust can further keep your family out of the time consuming and expensive probate court after you are gone. If you don’t have either of these documents, a judge will decide who is in charge of your affairs and Missouri law will determine who will receive everything you own. Your family deserves better.
Advance medical directive: This document provides the legal right for the person of your choice to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. Without an Advance Medical Directive in place, your family could have their hands tied when it comes to ensuring you get the best care possible, in the way you would want.
Power of attorney: This document allows your appointed representative access to your financial accounts so they can manage your financial affairs. Without this document, your family will face an expensive and long battle to obtain this right if you are incapacitated.
If you’re ready to do the right thing by your family, call an experienced Missouri wills and trust attorney today to ease your family’s burden when you are gone.