Individuals in Missouri may want to consider whether they need a trust or if a will is sufficient for their estate planning purposes. Probate is described as the process of recognizing a will and appointing an administrator for the estate.
Even if there is a living trust instead of a will, it is still necessary to account for and administer the estate just as with a will. Probate does not necessarily take a long time, and some trusts may have associated fees that make them as or more expensive than probate. There may also be delays associated with taxes for both wills and trusts. Individuals should also keep in mind that retirement and bank accounts as well as some other types of property pass directly to a beneficiary and do not go through probate.
Living trusts can be useful for other reasons. They can create structures to protect an individual and their assets in the event that person becomes incapacitated.
An attorney might be able to be of use to an individual during the probate process. It is important that the legal and financial ramifications of various choices are fully understood, and an attorney can help ensure that documents are prepared correctly. For example, in some cases, it may be necessary to use specific legal terms to ensure that the document is valid or that the meaning is clear. Attorneys may also be able to advise on complex topics such as how to structure an estate plan that is less likely to be challenged. The right choice of an executor for estate administration is also important.