Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate, and it can be a time-consuming and costly process. There are a number of proactive steps you can take to avoid probate altogether.
Here are three different ways we can ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and without the need for court intervention:
- Create a revocable living trust: One of the easiest ways to avoid probate in Missouri is to create a revocable living trust. This type of trust allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to the trust while you are still alive, and to specify how and when those assets should be distributed to your beneficiaries after you pass. Because the assets are owned by the trust, rather than by you individually, they are not subject to the probate process.
2. Use beneficiary designations: Another way to avoid probate in Missouri and Kansas is to use beneficiary designations on your accounts and assets. Many types of accounts, such as bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts, allow you to name a beneficiary who will receive the assets in the account after you pass away. These assets will be transferred directly to the beneficiary, without the need for probate
3. Gift your assets to heirs while you are still living: This will avoid probate; however, you should keep in mind that giving away assets during your life can result in tax issues for both you and the person you are giving your assets to. You should consult with a tax professional to understand any tax consequences of gifting assets during your lifetime.
Let us recommend your best way.
With careful planning and the right tools, you can avoid probate and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Curtis Moore and Dan Stuart are adept at determining the best way for you to avoid probate in Missouri and Kansas too. We take time to get to know each of our clients and create custom plans that meet your specific needs.
Our personalized approach allows us to carefully calibrate the following:
- Maximize effectiveness: Does the plan avoid probate and meet the client’s goals completely?
- Control cost: How expensive is the plan to create, maintain, and administer?
- Control complexity: How easily can the client and their loved ones understand and implement the plan?
When you’re ready to protect your assets and your loved ones from probate, please contact us.