Wills and Trusts

Independence, Missouri, Wills And Trusts Lawyer

There are many misconceptions about wills and trusts. Some people think that trusts are only for the wealthy, and that the average family needs nothing more than a last will and testament. Others think that everyone can benefit from having a trust. The truth is that no one can tell you what you should have without knowing your personal situation.

At Grubb Law Firm, P.C., in Independence, Missouri, I offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about wills and trusts. My goal is to give you the information you need to make sensible estate planning decisions.

What Is A Will?

A will is a legal document that spells out who should receive your property after you die and who will be responsible for the administration of your estate. Your will can also determine when your children should receive their inheritance and name a guardian for your children. If you have a blended family, your will can protect the inheritances of your children if you should die before your spouse.

What Is A Trust?

There are two types of trusts: living trusts (which can be changed or revoked at any time) and irrevocable trusts (which can't be changed).

Living trusts (also known as inter vivos trusts) are often marketed to people who do not need them or could be better served by other estate planning strategies. While planning your estate using a living trust is a good way to avoid probate, it is only effective if you have titled all of your property in the trust. For this reason, living trusts are most beneficial for older people who aren't buying and selling a lot of property. If you buy property and forget to title it in the trust, your heirs may have to go through the probate process anyway.

There are many different kinds of irrevocable trusts. Some examples are:

  • Life insurance trusts, which can minimize estate taxes
  • Charitable trusts, which can reduce your income taxes now and benefit your chosen charity upon your death
  • Special needs trusts, which can provide assets to a disabled adult family member without making him or her ineligible for governmental benefits such as Medicaid

Creating An Estate Planning Strategy

For many people, a combination of wills and trusts may be the best estate planning strategy.

For example, a young family may benefit from a will with a testamentary trust. The testamentary trust would safeguard assets for minor children if both parents should die. An older family may benefit from a living trust with a pour-over will, which will transfer assets into your living trust upon your death even if you forgot to title them in the trust while you were alive.

Wills And Trusts Attorney Serving Lee's Summit And Jackson County

I offer a free initial consultation. To discuss your estate planning concerns with me, Independence, Missouri, wills and trusts lawyer Jeffrey A. Grubb, call 816-252-8848 or send me an email by completing the contact form on this website. I offer evening and Saturday appointments and accept all major credit cards.