LAURIE S. WARD
ATTORNEY AT LAW
CALL: 660.827.1770
514 SOUTH OHIO | SEDALIA | MO
 

WILLS/TRUSTS/ESTATE PLANNINGS

Do you wonder what will happen to all your property when you pass away? Would you like it to pass on to certain people? You need a plan. It does not have to be expensive or fancy. A Will may be the right plan, or in some situations, you might need a Trust. Laurie will listen to you and give you options on what might work best for you.

If a loved one has passed away and you are not sure what to do, Laurie can guide you. She can explain what needs to be done and try to make your situation easier for you.

FAQ

1. If I don’t have a Will when I die, does the State get all of my property?
No, only if you have no blood relative anywhere. In general, if you do not have a Will, your property will go to your spouse and/or blood relatives. There are laws that set out how your property is divided IF you do not have a Will.

2. Do I have to leave my property to my family after I pass away?
No. It is your property and you can leave it to anybody you want to.

3. My father/mother died, what am I entitled to inherit?
In general, no one has a right to inherit anything. If your parent had a Will and wished to give you something, you get what they left you under the Will. If your parent had a Will and decided to leave everything to the neighbor, you are “entitled” to nothing. Enjoy your family while they are here, don’t wait to enjoy their stuff after they are gone.

4. Do I have to leave my property to my kids equally when I pass away?
No. Your property is yours to divide up how you think is best.

5. If I leave someone $1 when I die, will that keep them from contesting the Will?
No. Anyone can contest your Will. That does not mean they will be successful. Leaving someone $1 is actually worse than leaving them nothing. The threats of contesting a Will are often exaggerated.

6. My loved one passed away, what do I do with their property now?
You should check with a lawyer to see if anything needs to be done. If the property is in the name of the person who passed, it will need to be transferred to the people who are supposed to get it. Nothing has to be done immediately upon death. Get through the funeral and saying goodbye, then follow-up with a lawyer.

7. How do I avoid Probate?
A lawyer can help you do things so your property will pass outside of probate. Things can be done with real estate, bank accounts, vehicle titles, stocks, etc. that will transfer your property immediately upon your death to your loved ones. However, Probate is just a division of the court and can be helpful in making sure your property passes the way you want it to. Probate does not take everything and having a Will does not mean you avoid Probate. Talk to a lawyer and get the facts about probate. It is not as bad as everyone says.

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