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image of pet as part of familyWhile the main purpose of your estate plan is usually to provide for your family members, many people consider their companion animals to be part of their immediate family and also want to provide for their continued care. Missouri law allows you to provide for your pet in your estate plan by creating a Trust provision for their lifetime care. These provisions are usually a separate Article or paragraph contained within your Revocable Living Trust.

image of woman thinkingYou’ll need to make many decisions in order to allow our office to customize your estate planning documents to your particular needs. While you don’t need to stress about immediately getting all of this information together, it’s good to review the items below as it allows you to begin the process of formulating your thoughts as to how you’d like your estate planning documents drafted.

image of estate plan documentsWhen you leave our office, you’ll walk out with the original copies of everything you signed along with one extra photocopy. Our office recommends that your original estate planning documents be kept in a bank’s safe deposit box. If you’re married, your spouse’s name should also be on the box so that they can access it.

image of different size homesIf your loved one’s assets are valued at $40,000.00 or under (after you back off liens, mortgages and expenses), those assets can be transferred through Probate Court via an expedited procedure commonly called a “Small Estate.” In that instance, an interested party completes an Affidavit for Collection of Small Estate, lists the assets, beneficiaries or heirs, and describes the property in detail along with copies of supporting documents. Those documents are filed in Probate Court.

image of a words associated with estate tax

For 2019, the Federal Estate Tax Exemption is set at $11,400,000 for individuals and $22,800,00 for married couples. These amounts are scheduled to increase each year with inflation until 2025. On January 1, 2026, the exemption amounts are scheduled to revert to the 2017 levels of $5,490,000 for individuals and $10,980,000 for married couples.

image of woman making a decisionChoosing a Personal Representative of your will is an important decision a number of people find difficult to make. With some care and these helpful suggestions, you can make an informed choice for your Personal Representative.

image of a married coupleThe steps to creating a trust are straight forward and simple - with proper advice from an experienced estate planning attorney. Essentially, there are two steps to creating a trust.

image of college studentsMost schools begin classes in September, including colleges and universities. If you have college aged children, you need to consider having an estate planning attorney create some basic documents to ensure their continued protection.

right or wrongFrom time to time, I have conservations with people who are under the impression that a Will is a simple legal document and the services of an estate planning attorney are not necessary to create a Will.  When I inquire about the motivation to use a do-it-yourself approach to a Will, cost is almost always the reason provided.  This is a very dangerous approach for two reasons:

Do It NowA divorce is often a stressful time, frought with emotion...and a lot of paperwork.  After all the income/expense statements, parenting plans, and other documents necessary for a divorce you would think you're finished with lawyers once the divorce is finalized, but that would be a mistake.

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Law Office of Christopher P. Cox, L.L.C.
13321 N. Outer 40 Rd.
Suite 600
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Tel: 314-727-0163
Fax: 314-448-4300

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The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. The information and materials on this Web site are provided for general informational purposes only, and are not intended to be, and is not, legal advice. This Web site attempts to provide quality information, but the law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance.