A Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is the basic building block of estate planning. When properly drafted, it can accomplish the following:
Nominate a Guardian.
If you were to pass away tomorrow, who would raise your children? A Last Will and Testament notifies the court who you would want to take over parental responsibilities if something should happen to you. You may want to create a stand-alone nomination of guardian as well. Read more about how to select a guardian here.
Who gets your stuff.
A Will notifies the probate court who should inherit your possessions and other assets. You may be surprised to learn that under Missouri law your spouse is not automatically entitled to all of your assets after you pass away.
Nominate an Executor/Personal Representative.
This is the person who has the responsibility of collecting your assets, paying your bills, and distributing your property according to the terms of your Will. Click here to learn more about how to select this person.
Most assets will likely pass through your Will to a "residuary pool" that will then be divided up among your beneficiaries. However, certain gifts can be made directly to a loved one or friend. We call these "Specific Gifts." Examples include wedding rings, firearms, and other personal items.
Protect Against the Unknown.
While a Trust is a much better tool for asset protection, a Will can provide minimal protection for your beneficiaries AFTER your death. Keep in mind, a Last Will and Testament provides no asset protection during your lifetime.
Initial Consultation (up to 2 hours)
Legal Analysis of Your Estate
Last Will & Testament
Financial Power of Attorney
Healthcare Power of Attorney
1 Beneficiary Deed (if applicable)