Bolinger Law Firm, LLC – St. Louis Will Attorney

At Bolinger Law Firm, LLC, an estate planning attorney works with you to create a will that accurately reflects your wishes as to the distribution of your property upon your death. Through a will, you are able to decide the distribution of your property and name individuals, called Guardians to care for your minor children in the event of your death. Generally, a will is the backbone of an estate plan because it determines the distribution of the property passing through the probate process at your death.

Whether it is your first experience developing a will or you just need to update your current will, an estate planning attorney with the Bolinger Law Firm, LLC will discuss all of the applicable considerations and create a will that accurately expresses your desires in accordance with Missouri law. Not only does creating a valid will effectively dispose of your property upon your death, but it also provides you with peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death. Call us today at (636) 386-8322 to speak with a St. Louis estate planning attorney or schedule an appointment.

Below please find some answers to frequently asked questions to help you better understand considerations applicable to wills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a will?

A will, often times referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document that specifies the distribution of your property upon your death. Without a validly executed will, the assets that you own at your death pass according to the intestacy statute of your domicile. Additionally, within your will you can designate who will care for your minor children in the event of your death. This is often the most important reason why parents with minor children need a will. Furthermore, your will ensures that property is distributed according to your wishes. An executed will provides you with peace of mind and allows you to transfer your property to loved ones in accordance with your desires. An estate planning attorney at the Bolinger Law Firm, LLC will closely work with you to understand your desires and then create a will that accomplishes your goals while explaining the legal significance of those actions.

Why do I need a Will?

One of the biggest reasons that individuals fail to execute a will is because they do not believe that it is necessary or practical. However, this misconception leads to instances where the individual’s property does not provide adequate support to their loved ones. If an individual passes away without executing a will, the intestacy statute of that individual’s domicile determines the distribution of their property. Depending on multiple factors, the distribution pattern pursuant to the intestacy statute may not distribute the individual’s property according to their wishes. Often times, people who have been married more than once or have children with more than one partner fail to recognize the implications this may cause for their loved ones upon their death.

Additionally, a will is imperative if you have minor children. A will allows you to nominate the Guardian(s) of your minor children in the event of death. In the event that you and your spouse were to die without a will, a court would determine who should be the Guardians of your minor children. A court proceeding to determine the Guardians of your minor children cannot only be time consuming and expensive, but it does not always place your minor children with those individuals whom you believe would best raise your children. An estate planning attorney at the Bolinger Law Firm, LLC will discuss these issues with you and provide you with a will that properly addresses each unique situation.

What information is contained in a will?

A will expresses your desires regarding the transfer of property at your death, but what is actually contained within the will? Contained within the legal document, there are provisions specifying:
– The payment of debts/taxes/expenses at your death
– Specific distributions of property
– General distributions of property
– Nomination of Guardians/Conservators for minor children
– Whether you permit independent administration for your Personal Representative
– Whether a bond is required

An estate planning attorney with the Bolinger Law Firm, LLC will discuss all of the applicable legal, emotional and financial considerations with you to develop a will that accurately reflects your wishes.

Who should be my Executor/Personal Representative?

Deciding who should be the personal representative of your probate estate is often a difficult decision that requires deliberate forethought. The personal representative administers your probate estate, ensures closure of your affairs and distributes property to your beneficiaries. The personal representative should coordinate with various professionals, including accountants and attorneys, to ensure proper distribution of assets and filing of tax returns. Therefore, it is important to nominate an individual who is responsible, organized, has business acumen, and thorough. Often times this can be a spouse or a trustworthy family member, however you need to account for family dynamics to ensure the proper nomination of a trustworthy personal representative.

Can multiple individuals serve as my Personal Representative?

Yes, multiple individuals may serve as the personal representative of your estate. However, it is important to consider the relationships between those individuals and their ability to resolve problems together. Sometimes, having multiple individuals serving as your personal representative is beneficial because their strengths and weaknesses may complement each other and enable efficient administration of your probate estate.

How do I update or amend my will?

A will Codicil amends your current will with your updated desires. A will codicil is an effective tool when minor changes are necessary to your will, such as updating personal representatives. However, when substantial changes are required, it is often best to execute a new will that revokes all previous wills. Executing a new will provides greater organization and clarity while implementing provisions reflecting current law.