As estate planning attorneys serving Missouri residents, we often talk about what it means to be truly prepared for the future. So many people, especially young adults, fail to grasp the importance of estate planning. They believe only wealthy individuals need estate planning, or they think, “I’m pretty healthy. What could go wrong?”
In a word, plenty. For example, you may be aware of recent news surrounding legal challenges to the federal health care law in Missouri. The outcome could mean that Missouri consumers currently receiving health care subsidies would pay far higher insurance premiums, putting health insurance out of the reach of many.
But this article isn’t about health care costs; it’s about being prepared.
Estate planning attorney Brian Quinn of Quinn Estate & Elder Law, explains, “I often recommend to clients that, when planning for the future, we need to remain flexible in order to accommodate unanticipated events. Changes in the law and to government regulations certainly require scrutiny and proper advanced planning.”
What This Means for Your Future
Do you have a Will? How about an Advanced Healthcare Directive? If you are married and own a business, is it time to protect your interest with a prenuptial agreement?
Wills save time and money by ensuring that, when you pass away, your estate will be “probated” quickly and efficiently. (Probate is the court process by which a Will is proved valid or invalid.) Most people want to avoid probate, because it can be a hassle. With a legal will and a properly funded trust, you can eliminate or minimize the need for probate, and the stress that often accompanies the process. In Missouri, Asset Protection Trust is an irrevocable trust that allows you to transfer your assets into the trust, retain the ability to be a beneficiary of the trust and also retain certain powers and controls over the trust. You also have protection from future creditors and bankruptcies.
Other estate planning services and documents you may want to ask your lawyer about include:
- Financial powers of attorney
- Healthcare powers of attorney
- Living Wills
- All types of trusts
- Beneficiary deeds
- Quitclaim deeds
Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney
Once again, don’t assume that asset protection planning is for high net worth individuals only. Certainly, the more assets you need to protect, the more vital the conversation with your estate planning attorney. But even “average net worth” people can benefit from a heartfelt discussion about the future. For example, you may want to ask about asset protection for your family members and future generations. Your attorney will explain the importance of creating a trust that provides specific protections. For family members with special needs that require maintaining government benefits for life, a Special Needs Trust is a crucial consideration.
Trusts, wills, healthcare directives and other legal documents must be carefully drafted. These are not “do-it-yourself” projects, but require the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. At Quinn Estate & Elder Law, we listen closely, offering expert guidance and the most effective solutions, based upon our years of experience.
Our clients tell us they feel informed and reassured to have gained control over protecting their futures. Are you ready? Give Brian Quinn a call today for a no-obligation consultation: (636) 686-6790.