Estate Planning

A solid estate plan is an important gift to your family, and it is not always complicated or expensive.

There are helpful strategies available under Missouri law to avoid probate and make matters less complicated in the event of a disability. Everyone can benefit from some very basic documents like Financial Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives.

We help clients who are concerned about Medicaid issues, and we are developing strategies in response to recent changes in Federal Estate and Gift Tax laws.

Living Trusts continue to be a very wise strategy for many clients, but many people can use other less complicated strategies.

Our goal is to create individualized plans for our clients that reflect their choices in these important matters, regardless of the size or complexity of their estates. We want your family to have the right documents in place when they are needed.

Our Firm's Estate Planning Attorneys

Published on: January 1, 2021:4:55 am

A Few Things to Think About – by John Landwehr:

  1. What’s your main goal?

Sometimes we get caught up in obvious issues like avoiding probate or minimizing taxes. My clients smile and nod when I tell them: “The most important goal of estate planning is to keep the family together over the holidays.” Don’t forget that basic concept as we work through all the details!

  1. You can probably forget about estate taxes!

I tell my Catholic friends, “If you have federal estate tax problems, the Bishop would like to talk to you.” That’s because you can have $11.4 million pass to the next generation without any tax liability! And the exemption is “portable” – so double that if you’re married.

We used to jump through all kinds of hoops to avoid federal estate tax when the exemptions were much, much lower. Not anymore!

  1. Wills don’t avoid probate!

Often, clients are under the impression that if you have a Will, your estate will not go through probate. The opposite is true! A Will is your set of instructions to the probate court saying where you want your assets to go when you die.

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