Estate Planning

What Is Estate Planning?

Many people think that only wealthy people need to worry about estate planning. This is simply untrue. Estate planning is exactly what it means - the planning of your estate. The word estate is commonly misunderstood. Your estate consists of the total of all assets (or property) that you own - whether large or small. You may have a very wealthy estate. On the other hand, you may have modest estates, consisting of a residence and little else. Regardless of whether your estate is wealthy or modest, you still need to plan for your estate and for the future. For example, avoidance of a lengthy and expensive Probate for your childrens’ sake is an important estate planning goal. As a probate court lawyer, I see many families who wish that their loved one had formed a proper estate plan.

What Does Estate Planning Do?

Almost every person should have some sort of estate plan in effect. A properly drafted and executed estate plan will ensure that your property (whether large or small) is disposed of in the manner you desire. In addition, a proper estate plan will ensure that your wishes are carried out by the persons you select, either at your death, or in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to make your own decisions, carry out your own desires, or handle your own financial affairs. A properly drafted estate plan should include, at least, a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Durable Powers of Attorney for Finances and Health and Living Will.

Why Should I Do an Estate Plan?

Sometimes, people avoid establishing an estate plan and the reasons for the delay may be numerous.

  • Often times, people think that they do not need an estate plan because they are not wealthy, or don't have an estate. As discussed above, this is a common misconception and is simply untrue.
  • Another common reason why some people fail to establish an estate plan is because they do not want to contemplate their own death or incompetency. While these subjects are very difficult, they are necessary to discuss and plan for. The problem is: if you do not establish what your desires are for after you die, or become unable to make these decisions, how can you expect that your loved ones will know and follow your wishes?
  • A proper estate plan can give you comfort in knowing that your wishes will be carried out - whether that decision involves who you want to inherit your house, who you want to have your jewelry (or painting, or china set...), and whether you want to be kept alive by artificial means should you fall into a coma, or be involved in an accident.
  • An estate plan can also direct who you would like to care for your minor children in the even of your death. It can also ensure that your children are cared for as you desire.
  • For FREE Consultation Call: 636-532-9933
    List of Estate Plan documents

    Will it Be Expensive to Hire an Attorney to Do My Estate Plan?

    At The Law Offices of Lawrence J. Robertson, we pride ourselves on providing quality representation, while keeping our fees very reasonable. While this is a common question, the term expensive is relative to the individual. What someone thinks is expensive, another may see as inexpensive. Whatever the price, it is likely that the high cost to your family associated with not doing an estate plan, or having a faulty estate plan, will be far greater than the fees you would pay an attorney to do it right. We offer a free initial consultation. The fee quoted at the consultation will be a flat fee, which includes your entire estate plan. There will be no surprises. No hourly fees. Upon the conclusion of the free consultation, you will know the cost before you retain our services! We assure you that you will find our fees fair and reasonable.

    Please contact us in our St. Louis County office for more detailed information or a free individualized consultation.

    More Information about Estate Planning

     
       "Living Trust" Frequently Asked Questions

        Benefits of a Living Trust Estate Plan

       Documents in a Living Trust Package

       Glossary of Some Estate Planning Definitions

       About Our Fees

    For FREE Consultation Call: 636-532-9933

    ~ Serving clients in Chesterfield, Town & Country, Ballwin, Wildwood, Ellisville, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, St. Charles, Eureka, Kirkwood, Ladue, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Weldon Spring and other communities in the St Louis Metro area. ~