Wills, Trusts & Guardianship Attorneys | Joplin, MO
Protecting Your Assets and Your Beneficiaries in Missouri
One of the most important reasons to create an estate plan in Missouri is to keep the courts from deciding what will happen in the event you are disabled or die. You may assume that a trusted family member could step into your shoes and make decisions if you are in a position where you cannot speak for yourself. However, without the proper estate-planning documents in place, your family members could face a complicated court battle to take care of your personal and financial affairs.
At Copeland & Brown, our lawyers draft estate plans for families in Joplin and throughout Southwest Missouri. We work with clients all along the financial spectrum from the single Mom with a vehicle and bank account, to a Husband and Wife owning a multi million dollar business. An estate plan consists of individual components that work together to accomplish your goals. Those components may include:
- Will: If you die without a will in Missouri, the state will dictate how your assets will be distributed and who will be responsible for the administration of your estate. What the state decides may not be what you would want, especially if you have a complicated family situation.
- Trusts: A trust is a powerful estate-planning tool that can be used to accomplish a variety of goals such as minimizing estate taxes, preserving assets, avoiding probate and protecting your beneficiaries.
- Durable power of attorney: This important legal document allows you to name a trusted person who can step into your shoes and manage your affairs if you are incapacitated. Without a durable power of attorney in place, your family members may need to go through a guardianship proceeding to get the legal authority to act for you.
- Living will: A living will allows you to tell family members and medical providers whether you would like feeding tubes and other artificial life support if you are in a terminal condition with no hope of recovery.