Estate Planning is the process of organizing and arranging an individual’s assets, during their lifetime, in order to fulfill his or her wishes and minimize costs and taxes after his or her death.
Our Missouri Estate Planning attorneys offer the following flat fee estate planning services. We tailor the documents to fit your specific needs and offer packages for additional savings.
- Last Will and Testament
- Living Trust
- Advance Directive (also known as a Living Will)
- Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney
WHAT IS A LAST WILL & TESTAMENT?
A “Last Will & Testament” is a legal document that allows an individual (the testator) to appoint one or more persons (the executor(s)) to manage his or her estate and distribute his or her assets to other designated individuals. Each Will is prepared by an attorney (and not a paralegal or secretary).
WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST?
A living trust is a legal document created by you (the “Grantor” or “Settlor”) during your lifetime in order to legalize your desires regarding your assets during your lifetime and after your death. A Living Trust has a “Trustee” who is in charge of the Trust and one or more “Beneficiaries” who benefit from the Trust. A Trust is an instrument that can transfer your property after your death outside of probate. In many cases this saves time and money for the beneficiaries, and provides privacy, since it does not require court involvement to administrate.
What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an Agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are are unable to make a decision for yourself. This is not the same thing as a Living Will, which deals exclusively with end of life care.
WHAT IS A FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY?
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DPOA) to allow an Agent to sign certain financial documents or conduct certain transactions on your behalf. A DPOA can be used to conduct any financial transaction, including insurance, banking, real estate, etc. The DPOA can be limited to certain transactions or unlimited in scope.
WHAT IS AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE?
An Advance Directive or Living Will allows you to express your wishes regarding end of life treatment decisions and medical care. This document leaves the very difficult decisions about end of life treatment measures, in your hands. This is different than a Healthcare POA, which appoints an individual to make those decisions for you.
Contact the attorneys at Smith & Daiber, LLC today at 636-294-6170 for a FREE initial consultation regarding your specific needs and to discuss the next steps in creating your estate plan.