Wills & Trusts Attorney in Independence, Missouri

Thinking about life after we are gone can be discomforting, but creating a plan can give you comfort knowing your loved ones and your assets will be taken care of. A lot of time and resources go into these plans, which is why a will and trust attorney will benefit you and your family. My experience and knowledge of creating trusts and wills, as well as administering probate (i.e. the process of distributing your assets after you are gone) will help you gain a better understanding of the process and what is important from a legal standpoint. 

Types of Wills

With different types of wills, there are different rules and procedures followed upon executing the will. To decide which type of will is best for your family and your assets, you should consult with an attorney, but I’ve provided a list of different types of wills for your reference:

  • Formal Wills. A formal will has to be typed and signed by at least two witnesses. Usually, this is the type of will recommended as it is recognized as a legal document.
  • Handwritten Wills. These wills are often referred to as “holographic wills.” However, these wills are not recognized by the state of Missouri.
  • Oral Wills. In the state of Missouri, oral wills are only accepted if you are literally on your deathbed and can only be spoken to two disinterested witnesses.
  • Joint & Mutual Wills. These types of formal wills are usually created by two or more people — commonly spouses and siblings.
  • Conditional & Contingent Wills. These wills are only valid if certain conditions happen (e.g. death by accident only).

Amendments can be made to your will but should only be done with an attorney present. In each of these cases, I have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you choose the right type of will for you and your loved ones.

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Your Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is a will that assigns your assets to certain parties directly or through a trust. Though there are many intricacies to these wills, these are the things you should know:

  • A will has no legal authority until after a person's death
  • A will does not help with probate avoidance
  • A will is a good place to designate guardians for your minor children 

This is a very basic understanding of how your last will may work. To really get a comprehensive understanding of what you will need to know, come talk with me and I will help you create a strong will and testament. 

Types of Trusts

Just like wills, there are many types of trusts you can create to protect your assets and — in some cases — avoid federal tax and probate. A trust can fall in any of these categories: 

  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Asset Protection Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

In any of these categories, the person you name as the “trustee” will be responsible for managing your assets. This includes closing any accounts or debts you may have and disbursing the remainder according to your stipulations. 

As stated above, there are many intricacies of creating and securing a strong will or trust. I can help you go through the details of your estate, inventory your assets, and make a plan to help you with the creation of your will and trust. With my experience, you can rest assured your best interests are well taken care of. Give me a call today and see how I can help you.

Will & Trust Attorney Serving the Independence, Missouri Area

Are you ready to think about life after you’re gone? Do you know what you want to be done with your assets? Who do you want to name as your beneficiaries? At Stilley Law Office, my team can help you go through all your options and create a will, trust, or both with you so you can be confident in the future.