How Do I Know If My Deed Has Been Recorded Properly?

Understanding Its Importance In Missouri, all deeds for real estate must be properly recorded with the county’s recorder of deeds in order to be legally valid.  I often have clients
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2 More Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Your Estate Plan Yourself

DIY Estate Planning Could be Costly I often get clients for probate administration from people who have done their own estate plan by either creating their own original documents, using
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4 Easy Things to do Before You Meet with Your Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney people often ask me what they should be doing before we meet to discuss their plan.  4 things come to mind that everyone can do
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Why Won’t an Attorney Return My Calls?

I don’t know. I tell all of my clients that I take pride in making sure that I return their calls and e-mails. I almost always reply within 2 business
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Springing v. Non-springing Power of Attorney

Know the difference between a Springing POA and a Non-springing POA A Financial Power of Attorney serves many purposes. They can allow your attorney in fact (the person you nominate)
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Does a Will Need to be Admitted to Probate?

In order to carry out the wishes of the decedent, yes. This is a common misconception of my clients. Many people are under the impression that if a person has
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What is an Affidavit to Establish Title?

An affidavit to establish title what the state of Missouri uses in place of estate administration. It’s used for estates with less than $40,000.00 of value and is a much
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Your Attorney in Fact

Who you should nominate in your durable power of attorney When people think of a durable power of attorney, it is most likely a durable power of attorney for financial
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Why is a Beneficiary Deed So Important?

Your house is likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. Your home and loved ones need to be protected upon your passing. A beneficiary deed does just that.
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Will v. Trust

What’s the difference between and will and a trust? One question that many clients ask me is whether they need a will or a trust. While estate plans are unique
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Relationships with Financial Professionals are Important

Why relationships with business professionals are important to any probate and estate planning lawyer I do my best to maintain positive relationships with financial professionals for the benefit of my
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Drafting Your Own Estate Planning Documents?

Why I draft all of my clients’ estate planning documents I draft each and every document for all of my clients because, well, that’s what I’m being paid for. I
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Where Should I Keep My Estate Planning Documents?

Tips for storing your estate planning documents There are four things that I tell all of my clients to keep in mind when thinking of a place to store their
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What Makes a Good Estate Planning Lawyer?

Make sure you have the best estate planning attorney for the job I was recently asked what makes a good estate planning lawyer. It took me a minute to think
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Do It Yourself Estate Planning

The Perils of the DIY estate plan I’ve had several people come to me with questions about what I call “do it yourself” estate planning. I use that term to
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Tax Advice

Be careful who you take it from I often have clients that will ask me tax questions. Some of them relate to probate taxes, some of them are more general
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When Can I Spend Inherited Money?

Understanding the process. Oftentimes people will inherit money from a loved one who has recently passed and presume that they can spend it immediately. While it might be hard not
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What Happens If I Don’t Do Any Estate Planning?

Understand the important of proper estate planning. People often ask me what happens to their estates if they simply don’t do any estate planning. The short answer is that the
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Letter From a Creditor?

What should you do if you receive one. When someone passes away, gaining closure and making peace is an important step in the healing process. Unfortunately, its common for people
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Who Should I Choose to be the Trustee?

An important piece to estate planning via trust. Once you’ve decided that a trust is the right estate planning tool for you, the next tough choice to make is who
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Why You Need a Will

The cornerstone to any estate plan. Many people, including myself, consider a will to be the cornerstone of any estate plan. There are numerous benefits that a will can provide.
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The Benefits of a Trust

Why you should consider a trust. A trust is a private instrument used to hold assets for the benefit of a person or a group of people. If you were
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Why You Should Consider a Transfer on Death Designation on Your Car Title

In Missouri, you are allowed to place a transfer on death designation (TOD) on your vehicle title. While a TOD designation has no affect during your lifetime, it allows your
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The Problem with Mortality

I have a difficult time reconciling the fact that my body, unlike my amazing jokes, will not live on forever. This is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in
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Why I Recommend Reviewing Your Estate Plan Every 3 to 5 Years

What my experiences have taught me about keeping estate plans up-to-date. I recommend that every person review his or her estate plan every 3 to 5 years for several reasons.
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What is a Probate Bond?

Probate bond basics. A probate bond ensures that the personal representative of an estate follows the directions of the court for the distribution of estate property. The bond functions like
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Beneficiary Deed v. Quitclaim Deed

Know the difference between deeds. Many people come to my office looking to pass their home to their loved ones and avoid probate. I’ll often get questioned about whether a
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How is a Beneficiary Deed Recorded?

Answering some common beneficiary deed questions. When I discuss beneficiary deeds with my clients, they often have several common questions about them. Do I keep the deed? Does it have
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He/She/They Would Never Have Wanted That.

A strong reason for estate planning. I often have conversations about probate with people who argue about the distributions of their loved one. People tell me all of the time
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How Long Does Probate Take?

Some insight from my experience as a probate attorney. Most people that I talk to share a story with me about long probate takes. The story usually involves a loved
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Do I Need to Hire a Local Probate Attorney?

Having an experienced attorney is more important than having a local attorney. No. For probate purposes, you need an attorney that can file the appropriate documents in the county that
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How Can I View My Relative’s Will?

I’ve had many clients come to me because they had a close relative like a mother or father pass away with a known will that they aren’t allowed to see.
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How Can I Provide Protection for My Pets After I Pass?

Understand the importance of establishing a trust for your pet. Just as we want to be able to take care of our human family after our passing, our pets need
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The Importance of a Durable Power of Attorney

Understand the importance a durable power of attorney. Just as having a will or trust to assist your loved ones after your passing, a durable power of attorney can be
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How Can I Tell If An Estate Has Been Opened?

Steps to confirming if an estate has been opened or not. When you speak to an attorney about the estate of a loved one, the first thing that he or
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Should You Tell Anyone About Your Estate Plans?

Some estate planning tips. People will often ask me if they should provide copies of estate planning documents to their loved ones. I tell them that supplying copies to other
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If You Have a Bank of America Account You Should Read This

Under Missouri law, things like stock certificates, insurance agreements, bonds and bank accounts are considered non-probate transfers when a person dies. People commonly refer to these paid benefits as payable
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